I get it. There are the people who run, and there are the people who don’t run.
1- The people who run. These people often come across a little bit fanatical about it (I am no stranger to this). All they talk about is running. In fact, they’re a bit fucking annoying about running (so you daren’t ask them what they’re training for).
2- The people who don’t run. You’ll often find such people saying things like “HA, I can barely run for the bus”, or perhaps amongst the heavy-lifters “cardio ruins muscle growth, right!?”, or “don’t you think running is just so ‘cliquey’”.
And within this group of people who don’t run, there are two further categories.
2a. People who genuinely, REALLY, have zero interest whatsoever
2b. People who secretly, deep down, would love to try and run but don’t think they are a) capable, b) ready to deal with the bullshit of the running world and get obsessed about it.
I’m going to focus on Group 2B. The people who would actually love to give it a whirl but just don’t have a Scooby Doo where to start, and don’t fancy making a tit of themselves in the process. My tips, are as follows…
You’re not gonna feel like an effortless antelope on your first run. Or your second run. Or even 6 months into training.
Scrap that – running VERY RARELY feels easy.
Remember before you set off on your first escapade that this shits gonna feel hard. You haven’t (likely) used your legs in this way for YEARS. They are going to hurt, you’re going to feel uncomfortable.
BUT DO NOT GIVE UP.
Setting realistic expectations for what your first “run” is going to feel like will stop you from thinking “oh this isn’t for me after all” and then never running again.
START WITH WALKING
Noone said you had to become Usain Bolt within a month. Start with walking, then start walking faster. ONLY when a power-walk feels comfortable and that your lungs are capable, should you start pushing that to a jog.
NOONE CARES ABOUT YOU
I mean this in the nicest way possible.
You’re going to feel super-duper exposed and vulnerable setting off on your first few runs. You’re going to be very alert to how loud your breath sounds. You’re going to be very alert to seeing your body jiggle in ways you’ve never seen your body jiggle before.
It would be a fair assumption to think that all the passers-by (or other gym goers – if you’re dread-mill training) are going to notice this about you too. That they’ll be judging you.
The honest account of what “experienced” runners think of people who are BLATANTLY “new” runners?… we literally don’t give a shit.
Chances are, we probably haven’t even clocked you because we are so inside our own heads a lot of the time (whether we are running ourselves or not) that we barely even notice those who walk/run/crawl their way past us.
The only one noticing you and your discomfort, is YOU.
I’m not here to sell you anything. But seriously, invest in trainers (and a sports bra, if applicable) that really do the job well.
Go to that fancy-shmancy running shop and get your gait analysed and the RIGHT trainer selection presented to you because you really really don’t want boob ache or shin splints as a result of poor kit.
It is worth the investment.
HOW MUCH RUNNING!?
The key to getting better, quicker, with running is not to go hard or go home. (if you plan to do that please just go home).
Running too far too soon, or too HARD too soon, will almost-certainly lead to injury.
What is going to help you the most is being consistent (everyone hates this tip as it’s the hard fucking truth lol). Be consistent with 2-3 runs per week, with a SLOWLY increasing mileage (no more than by 10% per week) and you should start seeing the results.
What does this look like in real terms?
If you find you can run 3 miles on Monday 1st January, then by Monday 8th January you can give 3.3 miles a whirl. Simple really, but a lot of people push the boat out too quick (I learned this one the hard way #ShinSplintsSuck).
FIND A RUNNING GROUP THAT DOESN’T SCARE YOU
Not gonna lie, I am still to this day very much intimidated by running clubs. They are scary, they are intense, they make you feel like you’re going to cough up a lung and you’re quite often surrounded by people who live/eat/breathe running.
If you’re just starting out, finding yourself a community of runners can be really flipping useful to have a group to discuss the highs and lows of starting out with. People to share discussions on trainers with. Sore glutes with. Post-run dinner with.
This has been a key part of developing Run Talk Run. I REALLY want it to be a non-pushy environment where complete beginners to running can feel at ease.
That you are on your way to becoming a part of the ridiculous world of running which means that everyone in a pair of Asics can now be your best friend, and you can be the annoying smug person at dinner parties who created a wonderfully large appetite for all the food… YAY!