1. Wear proper shoes.
No, sport sandals don’t work. Yes, I actually tried it. If you’re like me, you may not want to spend money on gear when lets face it, you haven’t exactly stuck with an exercise program before. Ever.
Keen sport sandals did get me through the Couch to 5k program (and are the best thing ever walking through Kenya for a year), but left me with a niggly left knee. Oops! Would love to try their trail running shoes though… sigh…
So, please, splurge and invest in your health and future happy runs! If you don’t stick with running, and I hope you do, there’s always a runner or charity happy to take your slightly used shoes and give them a grateful home!
2. Running with a friend or group is awesome!
I often run alone, but for the 3 months I had a group motivation was never an issue, and miles flew by so much faster! Can’t wait to run with them again next summer!!! I shall be recruiting for race partners… be forewarned!
(Just had a slight longing for the flatness of Manitoba while running looking at the photo! Slight.)
Most cities have running clubs or the Running Room, or talk to friends, someone just might want to join you! On days you don’t feel like going just knowing someone is counting on you makes a huge difference. Added bonus – if you manage to hit the gravelly road and get bloody knees, having a partner with you might make the whole thing more hilarious than painful. Trust me on that one (and thanks Ashlee!).
3. Keep setting new goals
Run for a minute. 5k. 10k. Half marathon. Marathon. Increase speed. Run 4 times a week. Whatever you want to accomplish, set a goal and don’t be afraid to tell friends and family! You’ll be surprised how much support you get and how many people want to join in! (Still working on dad vs. the marathon though… ) Plus, mum asking me “Did you run today Joey? Why not?” works almost as well as having a training buddy or group!
4. Find trustworthy and motivational info
I’ve yet to find a running club or magazine here, so online resources have been fantastic. Nutrition, stretching, the best gear, training plans, it’s all there. Runner’s World is great, and there’s no shortage of running blogs to glance through and learn from. No Meat Athlete is of course my favourite – tons of running and vegetarian info – awesome! And living proof a vegan diet will carry you through marathons and beyond.
5. You can do it!
This is the one I initially would have had the hardest time believing was true. I can run for a mile? Miles plural? In what universe??
Well, turns out this one.
Start out slow with a good plan, (get good shoes, ahem…), stick to it, get out the door, and believe it or not you CAN do it. And 1 year later you’ll look back, and see progress. And thigh muscles you never knew were hiding under there.