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How to Start Running

I'm excited to share this blog post as I get a lot of questions on this topic! I only seriously began running a year ago so I am no expert but I'm just going to share how I started running and actually enjoying it. I will also share some tips and how to find the best running shoes (which is key). I hope this helps and gets you motivated!

If you would have asked me a few years ago if I liked running my answer would have been, "Heck no and I'm not a runner." I started finding an interest in running in 2016 but didn't really buckle down and take it seriously until I read, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis last year (MUST READ). She talks a lot about mindset and how she became a runner and that is my first tip to you if you want to start running, is get your mindset right. I told myself I COULD be a runner and that changed the game. I always say it's important to talk to yourself kindly and the same goes for running. I went from "I can't do it" to "I can and I'm doing it" and it made it a lot easier. 2016 me ran 4.8 miles in a marathon relay and thought I would die and 2019 me ran a 10k happily. The biggest difference was my mentality.

My second tip is to find the right running shoes. I always just ran in whatever tennis shoes and my body killed me. When I finally found the right pair of running shoes, it made things a lot easier and less painful. If you really want to start running I highly recommend going to a running store and have them fit you for shoes. My good friend Krissy helped me get started running and that was her biggest tip. The store I went to put me on a treadmill and videoed me running so they were able to see what I needed to be an efficient runner. I also recommend a good pair of running socks. These shoes and socks really changed the game for me. For my ABQ peeps I went to Heart & Sole Sports and will forever go back.

My next tip is to start off at your own pace. When I started I think I felt like I needed to be able to run a certain distance and speed and I pushed myself too hard and my body hurt. I also put myself at risk for injury this way. You want to find the fine line of pushing yourself but not hurting yourself. My dad also helped me to get started running and this was his biggest tip. You can start out by running three days a week and do maybe one mile for day 1, skip a day, one mile for day two, skip a day, then two miles for day three. The next week do 1 mile, 2 miles, 2 miles, then the next week do 2 miles, 2 miles, 2 miles, the week after do 2, 2, 3, so on and so on until you build up to where you want to be. I personally find that if I run over 3-4 times per week it's too much for me. 3 is my sweet spot so that I'm efficient but not hurting.

I think it's also important to incorporate other workouts because that has made me a better runner/athlete in general. I usually do two strength days and then 3-5 cardio days that are either running/spin/or just a walk for an active rest day. Spin and strength have helped me improve as a runner big time. When I started I just ran and now that I have a mix I feel that it's easier for me to keep a competitive time without running constantly. I also like to mix in some sprint intervals to try and improve my endurance. My second must read book is Shut Up and Run by Robin Arzon. I trained for my first 10k with this book and I plan to train for a half marathon with this book. It has a ton of info, interval suggestions, and motivation. I absolutely love that book.

I also highly recommend tracking your running somehow. I use my Apple Watch but I've heard good things about Garmin and I also use to have a Fitbit. It doesn't have to be expensive when you start but just find something so help you analyze your distance and see your progress with time, etc. It also drives motivation for me!

Fuel is another big factor when it comes to running. If you aren't running over 6 miles daily you don't need to greatly up your food intake. Usually, if I eat too much I have a bad run compared to just a light meal (half banana/almond butter) before a run. Sometimes if I run in the morning and it's 3 miles or less I won't even feel the need to eat. I also try to always have a small protein right after a run. But I think it's a big myth that you need a ton of food if you start running. I've only used energy chews on a few long runs but now that I've been running longer I haven't felt the need for them either. You'll have to experiment on what is best for you food wise but don't over do it.

Speaking of over doing it- when I really started to do long runs I took so much stuff with me because I was nervous I would need water, energy chews, a sweater, who knows what lol. I've found that less is more and now I know more of what I really need on a run. You'll have to go through this and experiment what works for you. If you want to try a race, don't try something new on race day- figure out what you need before. You'll want to know your ideal outfit, what you need, what music you'll listen to, etc. Don't be discouraged through your trial and error either. That's what training is for and why you want to have that down pat before a race. It's a lot easier to swallow messing up a training run than a race!

My last but not least tip comes right back to mindset. I strongly believe that running is way more about your mindset than your athleticism. Yes, there are people out there who are born more athletic or people that have trained more, etc. I'm not knocking training because that's obviously important so you don't hurt yourself but if you can get your mind right you can get through any run. Sometimes I openly talk to myself during a run (lol) and if I'm struggling and I talk myself through it I know I can finish. I never tell myself "I can't". I always remind myself how good I feel when I finish a run too. If I set out for four miles that day, I'm running four miles, period. Also, a killer running playlist never hurts, and pants with pockets (need those).

So don't let picking up running discourage you and enjoy the process!! Running has been a huge anxiety/stress reliever for me and I've enjoyed learning about myself as a runner. You got this!!


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