I feel like I should start with a disclaimer: I have never been much of a runner. Even early in my high school years, when I worked out multiple times a day, my best was a 9-minute mile. Now that I am starting over, my mile comes in around 14 minutes and my pace is in intervals. The important part is – I am doing it though.
Nothing is ever easy, especially in the fight for your health. But here are a few tips that helped get me started and eased me into running:
Training for my 5K – this Saturday (October 10, 2020)!
Simple enough, isn’t it? We all have to start somewhere! When I first decided I wanted to make running a daily habit of mine, my first goal was to WALK at the pace I wanted to run. It sounds silly, but I wish you could’ve seen the sweat I broke walking a 15 minute mile – it was unreal! Honestly, there were points where I told myself “Mikayla, it would probably be easier if you just ran!” And so, I did.
I signed up for a few running apps that I thoroughly enjoyed (including CouchTo5K and ZombieRun) that gave me the idea of interval training. So as little as 15 seconds at a time, I started jogging. One morning, I started jogging just to see how far I could go and stopped around ½ mile! It may not seem like a big deal to most, but running ½ mile without stopping was like a dream to me! Over time, I started running for longer periods and resting for shorter ones. Much to my surprise, it worked like a charm!
MUSIC, PODCAST… PICK YOUR POISON
Finding the perfect tool to take my mind of running was almost as hard as the act itself. Should I peruse the playlists with specific bpm to keep up with my pace? What about my favorite podcasts? While everyone is different, I found that creating my own playlists – independent of bpm or genres – worked best for me. The same playlist I used for weight-training wasn’t cutting it anymore, I needed something that made me feel free and weightless. I needed something that could light a fire in my soul when I turn around and realize I’m 2 miles from home. For me, it just so happens that it is a lot of Disney – cue Moana and The Greatest Showman!
SET SPECIFIC GOALS
I always dreamed of running a 5K. Easy enough, right? My freshman year, my roommate (and soon to be BFF) agreed to do a 5k on campus with me. And while she was happy we did it together, I knew my walking pace held her back. I mean, we did finish ALMOST last place. Ever since then, I told myself that one day, I would run a 5K with ease. I spent the next 5 years not even training – funny way to approach your goals, right? Until, I put my money where my mouth is and signed up for a race. No going back now, it is time to train!! Having a timeline kept me accountable and facing forward towards a goal!
You don’t have to be fast, go far, or go for hours. Just go. Something is better than nothing.
Here is your final takeaway: do what you can with what you have – if that is walking for 15 minutes a couple days a week, you go girl!!! Your body can do hard things, but it does take time. Trust yourself and just try!
You’ve got this,