How to Become a Runner

Step one: Go for a run.

It really doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. You can do anything you set your mind to!

Running is one of those things that is hugely mind over matter. I used to HATE running. It was always a punishment, the worst part about sports.

Admittedly, it’s still not my favorite exercise. BUT it made me push myself past these invisible boundaries I had made for myself, and showed me that I could do anything I set my mind to!

Last summer I ran farther than I ever have in my entire life! I worked my way up to 6 miles, which maybe for some people doesn’t seem like a lot, but for me it was a HUGE accomplishment!

Granted, my original goal was a half marathon and I didn’t make it that far. But honestly, I don’t consider it a failure. I’m still proud of the progress I made! I just made my end goal too big and didn’t have enough action steps in between.

What I Do to Make Running More Enjoyable

  1. Listen to music. The number one thing that makes running easier for me is listening to music. I like to listen to a running station on Pandora—the beats are fast and steady and it is music I reserve specially for running.
  2. Focus on your surroundings. Another thing I try to do is focus on appreciating my surroundings if it’s a nice day—I love running by the river on a sunny morning! Or if I can get myself out of bed, watching the sun rise before the world wakes up is therapeutic. And if my surroundings are hot and humid or cloudy and blah, I try and focus on how great I will feel when it is over, how proud of I will be that I got another run in. Like a mini challenge:)
  3. Run with a friend. Get yourself an accountability partner and set a time that works for the both of you. Sometimes running with someone else can make you push yourself. Or, if you’re more talented than me and are able to talk while running (Kudos to you. You rock.), talk about your day and take your mind off the action.
  4. Switch up your route. Sometimes I prefer to run the same route because I know how much farther I have left to go and how I am doing. But to prevent boredom, sometimes it helps to take a different route and switch things up a little.

Tips to Run Farther

  1. Stay hydrated. Be hydrated before you start. I always feel so much better when my body has gotten enough water throughout the day. It gives me more energy and I don’t tire as fast. And don’t forget to rehydrate when you’re all done!
  2. Download the free “Map My Run” app by Under Armor. It tracks your walk or run, your time and how far you go—in my experience it’s really accurate. You can save your runs, view your progress and track your routes. It’s a good way to see if you’re improving your speed or if you’re trying to increase your distance, the app will tell you every time you’ve reached a new mile.
  3. Have SMART goals. Make your goals realistically attainable. If you haven’t run in years, don’t start off by expecting to be able to run a 5k right away. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Set small goals along the way. Give yourself time to work up to that distance or speed. And if you have to walk, walk. Just keep going.
  4. Believe in yourself. Remember that you are capable of anything you set your mind to. You will have good runs and bad runs, but the important thing is to celebrate your progress and yourself for just trying. It’s more than someone else is doing:)

And I’m not fastest or can go the farthest or have the best form, but I don’t care and it doesn’t matter. Because I’m a better me than I was yesterday.

**Post Update**

In October 2017, I ran my first Half Marathon:)

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