Not long ago, Brian and I completed our second ever sprint triathlon together!
That means we swam 500 meters, biked 10 miles and ran 3 miles. We go into the race with a “this is supposed to be fun” mindset, and just do it to move our bodies and do something together as a couple.
Completing races like this as well as half marathons and running races of other distances is fun for me because it’s something I have really had to work at to enjoy. Many people (friends in person and on social media!) ask me how they can get started with something like running or a triathlon, so I wanted to document my response in a blog post that will hopefully help many people who want to start moving their bodies and get active!
Always speak with a medical professional before starting a new exercise program.
Tip 1: Start with a short distance.
Believe it or not, I did not start running half marathons on day 1. I remember when I decided I wanted to train for a 5k between my Freshman and Sophomore years of college that training felt a lot like marathon training!
If you are just starting out with your running journey, start with a short distance and work your way up to running consistently for that short distance. Your first goal may be to run a mile without stopping, or 2 miles or 3 miles. We are all at different points in our journey, so it’s important that you be honest with yourself and start with a comfortable distance.
At the start, you may not measure distance (I didn’t!). I would run for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, and so on and eventually I was able to track my miles.
Tip 2: Start with a slow and comfortable pace.
Running at a pace that feels good for you with your body is going to allow you to run longer distances eventually, prevent potential injuries, and allow you to feel successful!
My recommendation is to not track your pace for quite some time and just run at a pace that feels good or slightly uncomfortable.
Tip 3: Get uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.
I have just told you to start with a short distance and a comfortable pace, and now I’m telling you to be uncomfortable. That may seem confusing, but the truth is that starting any new exercise is most likely going to make you feel a little bit uncomfortable, and that’s ok!
Feeling slightly uncomfortable is where growth happens in SO many areas of life.
Tip 4: Figure out what you like to listen to or if you like to listen to anything at all.
I also love listening to music, but I find that when I am trying to maintain a certain pace it is better for me to listen to a podcast because I am not trying to match my running cadence with the beat of the music.
Figuring out what YOU enjoy while running is important because it will help create some excitement for those times when you lace up your shoes to go out for a jog.
Also – listening to nothing to totally fine too!
Tip 5: Wear running shoes that fit.
Having running shoes that fit you and are supportive in the way you need them to be for running is so important in the whole “running experience” process. Many shoe stores and running shoes will help fit you with a shoe, so I suggest making the investment in one pair of shoes dedicated for running so you can really enjoy the running experience and not have sore feet.
I tried to think of the most common questions I get asked when it comes to starting a running routine, but if you have more questions leave a comment in the comment section below!