10 Ways New Runners Can Stick With It

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I don't know how many times I tried to start running but it finally clicked in early 2014. Three years later, there are a lot of things I wish I had known in those earlier attempts. Maybe if I had known them, running would have clicked with me earlier.

  1. Go slow I tried to be a speed demon, even with the shorter intervals in Couch to 5K, and it just sucked. Everything hurt on my running intervals and I wasn't recovered enough by the time the next one started. If only I had known at the time that by going at a slower, more comfortable pace I could go further. Luckily, I know this know and it's helping me out still with marathon training!
  2. Use technology I love that, even now, I can go back and look at how much I've improved in my running. I can go back to the previous month or even to my first run in 2014. And thanks to Facebook and Instagram, almost everyday I get a reminder about how excited I was a year, or two or three, ago about running.
  3. Make the most of rest days I sometimes look back at the days where I wasn't running in my Couch to 5k days and think "I wasted those". Not by laying around or being lazy but by jamming in other workouts on the days I wasn't running. Rest isn't a bad word. You don't have to be super active everyday to get better. And it might have the opposite effect if you aren't allowing your body item to heal from the hard work it's doing. I wish I knew back then how awesome it could be to just stretch or do yoga if I wasn't running.
  4. Have realistic expectations You aren't going to world's most awesome runner the first time you step outside. And I wish I had known that on my first runs out. It was tough and I didn't know the progress I was making (see #2 and #5) or what was "normal." There really isn't a normal when it comes to first runs but most people aren't running sub-20 minutes 5ks on their first try.
  5. Track your workouts Like I said earlier, I don't even know how I progressed between my first runs and when I first completed Couch to 5k. And it makes me sad because I enjoy looking back at my first runs and see how they progress from first 5k to first half to now.
  6. Don't eat everything in sight Running does not automatically mean you can eat unlimited amounts of food. Yes, you want to eat to fuel your runs but even now, I'm marathon training and don't need tons of food. Running might make you feel hungrier but it might mean you need to move around how you are eating instead of just eating more.
  7. Focus on consistency It doesn't matter if you aren't getting faster every single run but it does matter that you consistent with it. It's so much easier to stick with running if you have a schedule (even now I create a schedule for my off-season training). And if you run into problems with consistency, maybe running isn't what you want to do. And that's ok.
  8. Get a partner Happiness loves company. Enough said.
  9. Sign up for a race I didn't sign up for my first 5k until I was getting close to finishing Couch to 5k for the first time but my excitement about running went up so much once I did! I'm very goal focused (as you can tell with my current training) and having a date in mind made it even more real.
  10. Get outside The treadmill isn't for everyone. And I really don't think it should be for anyone if you are able to get outside and run. Just give it a try and see how you like it. I promise nature won't hurt (too much...darn allergies).