How To Become A Runner
Helllllooooo! I'm not sure if you saw, but I RAN A 10K... If you've already seen it on social media or heard me talk about it, I'm sorry for the overload... You may be thinking, "Girl, you ran 6 miles, that's my warm up every day. Next blog post, please and thank you." And to you I'd say: First of all, you are goals, for real. And second, before you stop reading here is why I'm proud...
I've never been a good long distance runner. I was in cross country in middle school, but I was never elite. I mainly did it for the bus rides with friends and the hoodie which I may or may not still have hiding in my childhood bedroom. But don't read too far into that, I'm definitely NOT a short distance runner either. I couldn't win a 100 meter dash if my life depended on it. (I blame it on my short legs. Yeah, we'll go with that...) So to say it plainly I'm not a good runner, but I love to do it. For as long as I can remember when I'm stressed or overwhelmed my body craves a good run. So you may be wondering, "Okay, but if you love running why is it such a huge deal that you ran a 10K? How much discipline can it take to complete something you already enjoy?" Well the main reason is that when I started training back in February I couldn't run longer than a minute without walking...
Yes, you read that right. I couldn't even run a minute straight, and to make matters worse I have terrible allergies and I decided to train the entire spring. What was I thinking?! Well I was thinking I wanted to be able to say I ran a 10K. If you are wanting to also get into running I'd love to give you a few pointers I learned along the way to help me train!
1) Download a Running App
I researched and found the 10K Runner app. This app was a miracle worker. It has you train three days a week and you start off running in one minute intervals, so it's great if you have little, to no running experience or aren't naturally a good runner. This app also allows you to skip through parts of your workout. For instance after about a month I stopped doing the walking warmup, so I'd skip that and go straight to the run. This is also great if you are wanting to push yourself more and skip a few spots where the app suggests to walk. But my favorite thing is that this app talks to you during your run. It tells you when to walk and run and it encourages you. I just want to give a shoutout to my friend Lola (the voice on the app) because it always seemed when I was about to throw in the towel she would tell me "You're worth it! Keep going!" Thanks Lola, you're the real MVP in this whole thing!
2) Map Out Your Runs
If you're like me you are tight on time when it comes to workouts. I needed my workouts to last the exact amount of time the app said it would or I wouldn't get to finish my workout, so one key thing I would do if I wasn't running on a track was map out my distances. I would find out how long or far I was running and make sure the course I was running that day would have me end right where my house or car was. The last thing I needed in my workout was to add an extra 10-15 minutes walking back to where I started. So if you are running around a neighborhood, I'd suggest walking or driving the course to find out the exact mileage so you can plan accordingly!
3) Set a Time to Run
I love structure. If you know me, you know this. Discipline comes naturally, and even excitingly (gasp) to me, so planning my run wasn't hard, but choosing to following through with those plans was in fact hard. I decided to run every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. I chose to run in the mornings because then it was done and over with and off my check list for the day. If you are planning to start running I suggest sitting down, looking at your schedule and seeing when running would fit in best. I also suggest finding alternative times to work out just in case you don't get your originally planned work out in. So for me, I always planned on working out Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, but if something came up I'd go to the track by my work and run on my lunch break. I tried to create structure so I was less likely to miss a workout.
4) Choose Your Music Wisely
I know everyone is different and everyone uses different music to pump them up when they work out, but for me I chose to make my own playlist on Spotify full of upbeat worship songs. I know to most this may sound insane. Worship music while working out? How does that pump you up?? Well I realized early on that I needed Jesus to meet me on my runs or I would be dead on the side of the running trail, possibly literally. And I just wasn't taking that chance. I knew that if I played Post Malone and Beyonce, though those beats would be great to keep my pace I knew I needed my mind to be attentive to Jesus or I'd give up.
**Here is my spotify playlist if you'd like to use it on your runs or workouts!**
5) Talk to Jesus
Okay, hear me out on this one. I'm not just saying pray that Jesus allows your legs to keep moving so they don't give out on you or that your lungs will keep working so you don't have an asthma attack. Though, I'd be lying if I said I didn't pray these at least once a week while running. When I say talk to Jesus I mean just that. When I'd get exhausted and feel like giving up, and Lola hadn't encouraged me yet, I'd start thanking God. I'd thank Him that I had two properly working legs and a good, healthy set of lungs. I'd thank Him for giving me a job where I could train for this race. I'd thank Him for the nice weather or the things I saw along my run. I'd also thank Him for allowing me to run further than the time before. Another thing I'd do is have a prayer topic for that run and pray about it throughout my run. A few examples are my family, friends, women I know who are wanting to get pregnant, people I know who need healing, my bosses, my church, America, nations... Praying and talking to Jesus helped pass the time and left me finishing the run feeling refreshed rather than depleted.
Now, here are a few more tips that I felt didn't need to be elaborated on:
Stretch after working out, every time.
If you feel like giving up set your sight on a landmark up ahead; once you get to that landmark you can walk or continue on running setting your sight on another landmark.
Keep a log of your run distances and times because seeing your own progress will encourage you to keep it up!
No run is a bad run, because you are running and that is goooooood!
My biggest advice on how to become a runner though is to just lace up your running shoes and get out there and start doing it. I've learned the more I've run that the distance or the time I spent running doesn't make me a runner, the act of actually going out and just running has made me a runner. If you're running, even if it is only one minute at a time, you are a runner!
**I hope this helps encourage you to get out there and run! Your body deserves it!**