Throughout life we are all taking first steps. First steps as a child, training wheels, first day of school, and first kisses. It’s just a part of life. Running is no different than anything else that we start in life. Every runner whether they are elite or just a veteran of the sport has had to learn to run. While the thought of learning to run might seem like an unsurmountable task and at times appear to be more time than it is worth, there are ways to make a more enjoyable experience.
Your first step out the door, shoes laced ready to go, warmed up and stretched out and here we go! When starting out this first step can be really exciting, but lets make it something more. These first steps are the hardest but they don’t necessarily need to be. They can be fun, exciting, adventurous, and a way to really prove to yourself that you can do this. A goal is a great place to start.
#1 Create a Goal
Creating a goal whether it be an event that you want to participate in, to lose a few inches and keep them off, or fundraising for a cause you believe in. Keeping a goal that we are working towards helps keep us accountable. When I talk to runners the number one thing that I hear the most is, “What other runs do you have planned?” Now that is not to say that you have to have one, but it brings to light something about goals. They keep us moving forward. They remind us that the time and energy we’re putting in is something that is worth the cause because we are going to feel great once we complete that goal. Along the way we might might inspire others around us to join us along the way. Letting your friends and family know your goals is a another way to get support when you need it most. Sharing with others why we are doing what we are doing make us feel proud and gives us a sense of accomplishment.
#2 Find a Training Partner
When taking your first steps towards running, a good companion can be a life saver. Having an “accountability buddy” keeps us on track, gives us someone to laugh with when we forget to tie our shoes, and someone to share the experience and memories with. Running is great for a multitude of reasons, but its impact is greatest felt when we have the support from those we are surrounded by. Tips on Choosing the Ideal Training Partner
#3 Be Inspired by Music
Now lets face it these days music plays a huge role in everything we do. From video games, movies, dancing, and plays, music has become a cornerstone the world over. Music allows us to feel alive when we would otherwise lack the drive to move. Finding the music that speaks best to you during your long runs can be the difference between walking those last few miles and finishing the day out strong. It causes our hearts to beat faster without effort, prepping our bodies for action. You can use it to help visualize yourself crossing the finish line of your next race. Pace out your next 5k with a special playlist. So plug those headphones in, lace up the sneakers, hit the play button, and pound the pavement.
#4 Explore New Places
Everyone loves vacation. Those destinations that keep us fascinated by their beauty, uniqueness, and exclusivity. Finding runs that are in locations that you want to visit or that catch your attention are great experiences. Not only do they allow us to create some great memories, they allow us to see places that we might not have seen otherwise. Races present these photoesque locations in such a different manner than a simple drive through the country side. We can take in the smells, the air around us, the sights, the sounds, while running next to friends and total strangers. What could be more exciting than that?
#5 Get Social
Lastly, the social aspects of running are amazing. The people you meet from a multitude of different backgrounds and from all over the world. These individuals are sometimes the best source of information for beginning runners. Veteran runners can offer advice with a personal touch. Listening to stories from other runners may help you know that you are not alone in your experiences. They can help point out events that they enjoyed as well as offer advice on gear, nutrition, and anything else that they feel like sharing, Even fellow beginners like yourself can offer advice from their experience with the sport.
In the long run, drum roll please, the time that you spend logging miles and stretching out will be well worth it. When learning to run not only do we learn about the sport, but we learn about ourselves. So run long, taper, and expect the unexpected about yourself as the surprises and fun is just starting.
About the Author: Jeremy Hill is in charge of the Manzanita Beach Walk & Run. An energetic fitness instructor, he is always training for new events and is always up to a good challenge. He spends his free time encouraging others to participate in events using his favorite personal quote. “Participation is a victory worth celebration.”