But what does running mean to you?
Exhaustion, feeling cold or lonely, unattainable goals, disappointment, failure, too difficult?
Or - freedom from the daily grind, relaxation, improved fitness, feeling healthier, enjoying the outdoors?
Running can be a ‘love it' or ‘hate it' sport and getting started is undoubtedly the hardest part.
But then what activity, task or adventure is easy? Starting to run, or even revisiting it after many years is not as daunting as you may think and once you start to run regularly, you will not be able to stop.
Why start running?
Exercise in any form takes effort; it takes much loved time away from your house, social group or warm cozy bed on a Sunday morning. But it doesn't have to be this way.
We've become obsessed in the western world with diets and healthy living. However, diets are never a long term solution; they are short term efforts to reach short term goals. One month without carbs for the beach, or two weeks drinking nothing but murky green liquid in order to fit into your favourite wedding outfit.
The problem is that in 2015 we move less and eat the same. We need to exercise to sustain our way of life. We need to change our lifestyle. So why start running? It is easy really; running is one of the most accessible sports out there and easy to pick up whatever your level of fitness.
Instead of crash dieting, build in regular exercise to give yourself some balance and ensure you can carry on living your life in the way you want, guilt free. By going for a run just three times a week for 30mins a time, you will start to see real results on your waistline, health and fitness levels.
How can you start running?
Get yourself a pair of trainers, clear 30mins in your diary, morning, noon or night and get out the front door. Plan a circular route from your house (so there is no temptation to turn back early), do some stretching for a couple of minutes and just start jogging.
I guarantee these thoughts will start to run through your head, but have faith and above all just don't stop.
|What you're thinking||The reality|
|I'm getting overtaken by someone running for the bus.||The person running for the bus is probably an ex-olympian.|
|I can't breathe, I have a stitch.||Slow down the pace and control your breathing. The goal isn't a quick time, it's to keep moving.|
|Everyone is staring at me.||They are probably thinking they should go for a run, you are actually doing it.|
|I could be at home watching the latest series on Netflix.||Yes you could but by going for this run, you can watch it later with the satisfaction that you've done some exercise.|
|I'm the worst runner, this is pointless, a waste of time, this is the last time.||You are a beginner; you have to start to get better. It's an investment that grows with time and will pay dividends. This is the first time.|
Don't stop, don't lose faith, just keep going. Break it down into sections to make it more manageable; to the end of the street, to the train station, only 3 x 10mins.
Well done! You have made it back home. 30mins was all you needed to do and you did it! Feel the sense of achievement and satisfaction. Take a days rest, then have another go at the same route, 30mins, no more, no less. Then repeat once more this week. You've just done 90mins of exercise. Now repeat for the next
four weeks and don't give up. If it's too hard, slow the pace down and if you feel good, speed up. Feeling bored? Ask a friend to join you or take your phone and listen to some music or a podcast.
What do I need to start running?
To start, almost nothing: a pair of trainers and shorts and t-shirt (something warmer if going early morning or evening). Get going with that and once you've done a couple of weeks, start thinking about your kit. Are your trainers comfortable? Are they giving you blisters? Too big? Too small? Getting some proper trainers
is vital once you have committed to training regularly, so go get measured and get some expert advice. You are guaranteed to feel more motivated to get outside and try your new sneaks.
Enter a running event!
You have your running base and are much fitter than you ever thought you could achieve. Now make sure you keep up the momentum by entering a running event.
Switzerland is a perfect place to start running: great scenery, well signposted walking routes to run along, fountains positioned around every town for some needed water and an abundance of running events for you to enter.
Why enter a running event?
Here's our top 10 reasons, whether it be a 5km, 10km, half-marathon or full-marathon:
- You will be focussed to keep your training on track and improve
- You will be motivated; no excuses
- You can invest in a new running wardrobe
- You will be able to eat, no more dieting! Not to mention entitlement to a nice post-run glass of wine or beer
- You will socialise; rope in a neighbour, colleague or a friend to train with
- You will clear your head and destress
- You will find new ways to exercise - spice up your training with speed-work, fartleks, intervals, hill training, obstacle courses or treasure hunts
- You will have a new passion; something new to talk about at dinner parties
- You will feel fitter and lose some weight
- You will feel a huge amount of pride and achievement upon completing your first running event.
Convinced? I don't blame you!
But look at it this way, you have taken the time to read this article so there must be something in the back of your mind telling you to go. So why not put those trainers on, just 30mins around the block.
Do it now. You won't regret it. It may be tiring, cold and miserable at first, but it may just change your life and turn you into a fitter, stronger person, both physically and mentally.
Go on, just 30mins.