- It is uncomfortable at first. Sometimes your liver will hurt so bad it will feel like it wants to explode. Sometimes it will feel like your lungs physically cannot take another breath. When this happens it is Okay to take walking intervals. Listen to your body first and foremost. Know when and how hard to push yourself - only you can make that boundary.
- Download music that you like and make a sick playlist. I like to update my playlist monthly. I also like to run to fast paced, "top 40's" tracks like Lady Gaga and B. Spears. This isn't for everyone, so again, listen to what you like - it will make the experience more enjoyable.
- Drink water!! I try to drink every 2km.
- For me the first 17-20min are the hardest, from 20-45min I hit my runners high, at 45-50 I hit a brief wall, and at min 60-90 I am good again, from 90-100 I hit a wall, and from 100-120min I am good. Again, this is individual. Try and figure out what your body is telling you. This will take some time to figure out, but check for cues such as how heavy your legs feel, how fast your heart is beating, ext...
- Positive self-talk. Oh man, this one is huge. When I feel like I need to stop I repeat these words to myself: "You are stronger than this. You have accomplished so much already. You can do this. Push yourself. Push harder." And it works. That is my personal mantra. Come up with your own and write it down!
- Set goals. My goal was a 10k and I told as many people as I could that I was running it, that way I couldn't back out.
- Find a program that works for you. If Higdon doesn't appeal, try Couch to 5/10k.
- Buy good shoes. Enough said.
- If you try it, give it a shot for 3 weeks. If you don't like it after 3 weeks, that is OKAY! You tried, and it definitely isn't for everyone. The only way to consistent exercise is to find something you love. So if you don't love it, try something else!
Those are just a few tips on how to start. It is hard at first, it is hard after 4 months, but that is part of the gratification. I feel like I accomplish something when I run. I feel like I am pushing my body and making it stronger. It makes me feel alive, and completely at peace with who I am.
I ran for the first time in 2 and a half weeks yesterday. 5k in 40min. It was hard. It was slow. I have lost a lost of speed and endurance. It will come back as I continue to run more and more. My back and hips feel good, so I will slowly re-integrate it into my exercise regimen.
I will leave you with my favorite running quote;
If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or you've been running for years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.