Running isn't easy. If it were, everyone would do it. However, with the right mindset, dedication, and determination, anyone can start running. Check out these five sure-fire tips below to help you become a runner.
- Set attainable goals. When creating personal running goals, it is important to remember to challenge yourself but to not make the goal impossible. Runner's World mentions that good running goals "[have] personal meaning, [are] specific, [are] challenging but realistic, [have] a time element, [and] keep you motivated." Focusing on those criteria in establishing your running goal will help to ensure success.
- Run with a group. Running is definitely an individual sport by focusing solely on your individual goals. However, running with a group is very beneficial to new runners. According to Minneapolis Running, group running can help with accountability, consistency, and motivation. If you choose to run with a group, remember to not compare your own progress to anyone else's in the group. Each runner in the group is on an individual journey.
- Stay hydrated. One of the most important parts of running is to remember to drink water! Competitor Running explains that "as water...moves throughout our bodies, [it] dissolves and carries nutrients as well as oxygen and waste to account for all the needs of a runner." The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that "individuals [should] drink about 500 ml (about 17 ounces) of fluid about [two hours] before exercise to promote adequate hydration."
- Listen to your body. Your body will tell you if you need to walk, and if you do, it's okay. A study completed by the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport concluded that "a combined run walk/strategy...allows non-elite runners to achieve similar finish times with less (muscle) discomfort" than the marathoners who didn't walk, so no need to sweat if you're feeling the desire to walk!
- Stay Positive. Running is difficult, so it's easy to feel discouraged when a workout or a race doesn't go quite as planned. You are not alone in this. It's important to remember that everyone has occasional sub-par workouts at some point during their training. Training Peaks mentions that these "bad workouts are actually the keys to improvement." Instead of staying discouraged, use your emotions to fuel your energy into your next workout and give it your all.
Running isn't always as difficult as people have you believe. Just keep these handy tips in mind and you'll be on your way to becoming a regular runner in no time. If you need to start somewhere, why not choose a casual race that will help children's lives at the same time? Merritt Clubs will be having its annual Wish Race 5K on June 8, 2019. There will be a 5K Run/Walk and a 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk and 100% of net proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic. Click here for more information.