When you start running, knowing what to expect will help you to predict the obstacles and reduce the uncertainties of those first few days and months.
Running for beginners eventually requires listening and adapting to the body based on its reaction. Getting an idea of what to expect before you start, however will help avoid some of most new runners’ common pitfalls.
1. It Gets Easier
I recall moaning to my friends that I just wanted to run without any walking breaks for 30 minutes. It took me a long time to get to that point, but I finally did it in four weeks over a series of four 5Ks.
The races have helped encourage me and drive me forward. I was then able to steadily increase how far I could go without a break in the walk. I was able to do 15 miles some six months back.
2. Don’t wear cotton
I was still in cotton, yoga-style capris, and a cotton T-shirt when I first started working out and running.
I never had chafing problems, but I’d get hot, and instead of being wicked away, the sweat would stay on me like it does with technical shirts and pants. It wasn’t long before the shirts got gross and I got the hint.
3. Races are Addicting and Fun
Before I got into running, I was never really aware of road races, and I was astounded at how easily the fees added up when I signed up for many in a row. But the racing bug was caught and I wasn’t about to stop.
It has been an incredible experience to see how I have progressed over time and to challenge myself with each race.
And running on roads not normally available to runners has also been awesome, as well as meeting great new individuals along the way.
4. Cross train, cross-train, cross train
I got into a little bit of a rut where running was my only major exercise form. I got hurt then. I had to adjust quickly and find numerous cross-training exercises so that when I healed, I didn’t go fully crazy.
Now, my routine is all about spin, yoga, and elliptical. I still want to incorporate Pilates and more regular swimming.
5. You’re Capable of More Than you Know
I never knew how much of a mental sport running is. If you get caught up in your head, you can think that you’re not even able to run a mile, let alone a half-marathon.
But if you put your mind to it with a little bit of preparation and positive thinking, you can achieve everything you set your eyes on.
6. Music is a Powerful Aid
I haven’t been running with music for the longest time, and it’s only been the last four months that I’ve been running with my earbuds on. My workouts have been made much smoother, especially because I have moved to a position where the paths all run along major roads.
On my last two long-distance runs, I used my songs, which helped me get through the hard parts by concentrating on the music in my ears rather than the doubts in my mind.
7. Run in all Sorts of Weather
On race day you have to prepare for what you’re going to face. When the weather turned sour, I used to run only on fair weather days and take my runs to the treadmill.
Now when the weather is not perfect, I’m set to try to do more runs, particularly after racing in a sleet storm in early March and heavy rain two weeks later.
8. Hit The Trail
A perfect way to slow down and get in contact with nature is to abandon the pavement for a dirt road. It keeps you more focused as well.
You’re constantly watching the shifting ground instead of zoning out on your run to avoid different rocks, tree roots, stumps, and the like.
And if you’re away from the road traffic, you can finally hear the birds chirping and enjoy some peace and quiet in the trees.