I’ve been running for years. Well… I’ve been running up to one mile for years. When I went off to college and no longer had dance or soccer practice to release my energy, I had to find something. I was an avid gym member, but never seemed to push myself.
I would go to the gym, complete my one mile, and move on to whatever strength training I was doing that day. As I got older, I started to notice on the days I ran I had a much clearer head and generally felt incredible.
I began my one mile run after work one day, but the weather was perfect. Just cool enough to not feel like I was dying in the Mississippi heat, but not cold. I began to run and I just kept running, I ran 1.5 miles without even thinking because I was enjoying it so much.
That sparked a passion in me and I wondered why I had never pushed myself before. I began running more frequently and am now up to 2.5 miles in just a few weeks. I never thought I could become part of the “runner’s club,” but I see now that it’s all in your mind. Now, I know 2.5 miles is nothing compared to most people, but I wanted to share my tips for those working their way up like me!
Put the phone down
Use a watch, FitBit, or whatever else you can get your hands on. I noticed that my phone was constantly taking me away from my focus and I would often stop purely to read a text message.
I cannot run on a treadmill anymore. I run less because I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. Plus, outside no one can stop you to ask if their music is bothering you (we all know it is).
Get Good Shoes
Everyone says this, but seriously. Running shoes make your legs physically capable of pushing further.
Increase in Small Increments
I am trying to gain a mile every week to two weeks. This means each run I can increase by around 1/3 mile.
Mix in Shorter Runs
Not every run needs to, or should be, your longest run. I run 3 times a week with shorter 1.5 mile runs mixed in when I need a break or had a long day.
Sign up for 5K
This holds you accountable but doesn’t put the pressure of a marathon or a half marathon on you, unless you want to do that- go for it!
Run Solo- Around Others
I do not understand how people run with others. I cannot talk while I run and would trip over my own feet trying to match someone else’s pace. However, I love the feeling of passing another solo runner and doing the slight head nod as our own strange acknowledgement.
I was running at my favorite park for awhile but noticed I was starting to memorize the distances. Okay.. this tree marks 1 mile. This started to make my run feel longer because I knew my distance without looking at my FitBit. I still run at that park, but try to switch up my path.
I started to get to the point where all I wanted to do was run. I realized if I don’t mix in strength training, my legs will burn out. It’s nice for a change of pace and to make sure you don’t forget about your arms.