Getting with started running, if you have never run, the idea of starting can be a little daunting, I know I have been there. Let’s face it when was the last time you saw a runner smiling while they were running. The thought of pounding on the pavement can bring some people to a sweat just thinking about it! I can relate, it was only a few years ago that I actually decided to take the challenge.
It’s one of those things, you read and hear about all the health benefits, you listen to runners talk about getting a runners high, so how bad can it be!
Honestly when you start, yes it is a living hell! Burning lungs, heavy legs, muscle pain, it is all real. But once you push through the first 2-3 months, it gets easier. Yep, I reckon it takes that long of running consistently 2-3 times a week to really start to enjoy and see the benefits. You get a little faster, you start to feel the health benefits, heck you even start to set harder goals and enjoy yourself and understand the elusive runners high.
Running has also been a great way for me personally to check my self talk, positive state of mind and discipline levels, which tend to cross through every area of your life.
How do you go about getting started with those running goals?
It all start when the alarm goes of at 5am, best time of day in my opinion to run for a host of reasons.
- You are up and out before most of your friends are even stirring, that is in itself a sense of achievement.
- You don’t have the distraction of kids, work and your daily activities. It is so much easer to make an excuse to not run once your day has “officially started”.
- It is simply the best time of the day, often it is peaceful and less hectic.
- Once you have completed your run, you can start your day having already achieved something, which sets you up for a great day.
- For me the early start was as much about, not letting anyone see me running, for fear of looking like a fool, until I realised I enjoyed the early morning time to myself immensely. Not to mention living in an amazing place to run and seeing some pretty special sunrises and on occasion dolphins.
Truth is motivation doesn’t last, it takes discipline to get yourself moving. We have all been there, alarm goes off and your dozy mind starts making excuses
- too cold
- too tired
- I‘ll hit the snooze and get up in 15 (hint: your never do)
- I’ll run later in the day
- too much work to do
- I’ll start tomorrow
- I don’t know where my shoes are and so forth.
This is the first test of your discipline, once you get up get dressed and put your shoes on, it is harder to not go for your run. Hint, have them ready and right next to the bed to give yourself one less reason to go running.
It’s also a good time to remind yourself why you are running. The why will always help you get moving and for everyone it is different and can be varied and include:
- to lose weight
- to set an example for my kids
- to improve my health outcomes
- to stop the decline in my health
- to look better (yes this is a perfectly acceptable why)
- to prove I can have self discipline
Your first run and maybe your second and third…. your mind starts going – this is crazy, this hurts, my lungs are burning, my legs hurt, this is just stupid, what was I thinking, never again, whose idea was this anyway, when is this runners high going to kick, I think you get the picture. This is the perfect time to check your thoughts and change to the positive self thinking:
- Yes I accept my lungs are burning, but with every breath I am getting stronger.
- Yes I accept my body hurts but with every step I am getting fitter
- Yes I can do this, I am getting fitter stronger and moving towards by goals.
Listening to music can also be a great motivator and distraction, personally I just like to let my mind wander and think about the day ahead. Amazing how you can solve the world’s problem in a half an hour run.
I encourage you to give it a go, but if you re still a little nervous, first make sure you are cleared by your health professional to take on a running program. Sign up to one of our programs and let one of our highly qualified exercise physiologist give you the guidance you need to get going. we can support and encourage you throughout your journey.
If you can’t run, the get out and go for a brisk walk, you will also enjoy a host of health benefits!
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