Today I am going to give you a beginner’s guide to running in 4 easy steps.
1. Put your Couch to 10k (5K, Half Marathon, whatever…) app on the front page of your phone.
Nothing is more depressing than turning on your phone when you’re sitting on the couch after four hours of Netflix and looking at that little app judge you. It is 100% judging your lack of use and it might just be enough to motivate you to get your butt off the couch. Also, these apps are perfect to get you started because they give you a plan to get going that doesn’t include pushing yourself too hard in the first day and burning out instantly.
2. Start Small
Now that you’re off the couch and have your running shoes on, you’re ready to go. Almost. Take 5 minutes and plan out a rough route of where you want to go on your run. If you can’t make it outside because there’s 2 ft. of snow at your door thanks to the northeast blizzards and have to resort to the treadmill, plan your pace. Making these decisions to start small and test out your abilities are going to help you from being discouraged in the long run. (haha run. get it?)
3. Start Uphill
So this one is guaranteed to make you hate yourself in the first five minutes, but just keep going, trust me. Spend the first half of your run slowly but surely plodding uphill. You don’t have to go fast but just keep working on up that hill as much as you can. If you can spend approximately 15 to 20 minutes slowly dying as you gain altitude…do it. Now, just about when you feel like your legs aren’t going to go any further without falling off, turn around. Proceed for the next 10 minutes feeling like a fucking champion as gravity does the work for you and you’re rewarded with your nice view from the top of the hill.
4. For the love of all things – stretch when you’re done.
Chances are that if you haven’t run in a while, you are not going to be feeling like your best self in the morning. A way to absolutely guarantee your fate the next day is by not stretching out your muscles after you finish your workout. If you have a foam roller to add — even better. Those things are amazing.
5. Don’t Stop
I’m not saying don’t take a rest day – you definitely need those to help your body stay strong after you start training again – but don’t take a rest month. Unless you keep consistency you’re going to lose any progress you may have started with that first run, and truthfully that first one is always the hardest. I have plenty experience starting over and let me tell you it sucks every time. So don’t be me.
Take note of neighbors who do a better job at watering the sidewalk than their lawns.
These neighbors are your new best friend. If it is 60 degrees out make note of these guys for the summer. Plan your routes so you run past their houses periodically. When it is 80 degrees, sunny, and you’re dying of heat, you will thank me for the periodic cool downs.
And that’s it! You’re ready to get out there and start moving.
*From someone who is not qualified to teach about running at all.