I started running after I graduated from college. I had just moved to a city where I knew no one, just started a new job, and was living truly by myself for the first time. I found myself with more time on my hands than I ever had during college, so, since I’m not really good at not having anything to do, I decided to give running a shot.
I had run cross country in high school, but hadn’t really done much running since then – so, I had a lot to relearn.
I’m still learning as I go along on my running journey, but there are some key things that have made me continue running, even when things get difficult.
First and foremost: BUY GOOD RUNNING SHOES. This is the biggest thing that will make or break a run. If my feet hurt, I know that won’t want to go running. Life is just too short to wear uncomfortable running shoes. Go to your local running store – they will have experienced staff who will help you find the best shoes for your feet.
- Second: when you first start out, don’t push harder than your body will allow. Take walk breaks, don’t worry about pace too much at first, and let yourself enjoy moving your body. Focus on keeping your body healthy, fueled, and allowing yourself to rest when you need to.
- Third: if you’re finding yourself dreading going out for a run, find something that you like about running, and choose to focus on that. For me, I have always enjoyed the fact that running gives me a fantastic reason to go outside and experience the beautiful place that I live – I let myself stop, take photos, and some deep breaths before moving on. Even when I’m having a not-so-great run, getting to be outside and experience nature can totally turn that around for me.
- Fourth, find a race to train for. One of the best things I did when I started running was registering to run the Sound to Narrows (a local 12k) race with my Dad. It gave me a goal to push towards, and the extra motivation I needed to lace up my shoes and go running. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend running that far for your first race, having something to train for is a good way to get into the habit of running.
- Fifth, and probably most importantly, run because you want to. Don’t let someone else’s idea of what makes a runner stop you from going out and giving it a shot. Run for yourself – because it makes you feel good, because it allows you to accomplish things that you might not have thought possible, because you want to.
What things have helped you enjoy running?