The biggest mistake people make when trying to get into a running routine is too much, too fast. The key to becoming a better runner is to start slow; in both distance and speed.
*Goal for week one: Run 1.5 miles, 4 times this week. (Wed-Wed)
When trying to complete this goal, consider a few things:
You will only do what you truly want to do. With that said, if the only time you have to run is in the morning, your lack of motivation could be due in part to the fact that the world outside your bed is very cold! Totally understandable.
However, if you never get into the routine (regardless of when you have time to run) you’ll never get into the routine. You get what I’m saying? So, whenever I have trouble getting up for a run, or even finishing my run, I say to myself, “If you can’t hold yourself accountable, who can?”
On that note, getting in your routine with a friend is always a great way to hold yourself accountable. If you have trouble starting, this is a good way to get on track.
I discovered very quickly, that the goal to becoming a better runner, not to mention someone who truly enjoys it, is to keep a slower pace. Instead of trying to sprint through the whole mile you can do one of two things:
- Keep a slow, steady pace. To keep you going at a speed you are happy with, assess your comfort level. To enjoy running, which is key to getting out there everyday, you have to be comfortable (at least to start).While at first there may be little to no comfort, I promise if you follow what your body wants, even if it means running a 12 minute mile, you’ll be happier and more successful in the long run.
- You can also run/walk. This is a good way to build muscle strength and burn fat. When your body is forced to adjust to a new pace frequently during the run it burns more fat.Livestrong.comexplains the technicalities: “When you alternate between short bouts of very-high-intensity exercise with lower-intensity exercise, your body is able to process lactic acid build-up, therefore reducing fatigue. You are then able to burn calories and fat at a faster rate compared to less intense, longer aerobic exercise.”
To know how close you are to reaching your goal, you should be keeping track. The easiest way to do this is to download a run tracker on your phone.
- On Android and iPhone, I suggest RunKeeper. For Blackberry I suggest Endomondo. Both are free, and will calculate time, distance, calories and pace.
Start slow, listen to your body while you’re running, and channel your inner runner. We’re all built to run, its just a matter of whether you take advantage of that biological ability.
Good luck, and check back throughout the week for some awesome guest posts and motivation!