Raise your hand if you love to Run!!
I realize Running may not be everyone’s favorite past time.. but it can be! Hear me out. There have been times in my life when I’ve run every single day. There have been times when I haven’t run in YEARS. Times when I’ve literally forced myself to lace up my shoes, times when I’ve pushed 35+ lbs (my kids) in the jogger after a long recovery from a c- section. Regardless of whether I’ve been in peak physical fitness, struggling with persistent knee and back issues, very much out of shape, or working through post-partum recovery.. the common thread for me running at these various moments in my running life is STARTING.
Starting, for many of us (myself included!) is the HARDEST part. Someone once told me that the initial few minutes of a workout are the worst, and if you make it past that, you can accomplish the remainder of it. So lets get you through the first few minutes, and then before you know it, you will be a run lover!
Recovering from an illness or injury? Beginning after a long hiatus? Getting back into it after giving birth? Or trying it for the FIRST TIME? Read on for some helpful tips based on my experiences, and a few experts at Running Room.
In the words of Running Room’s founder, John Stanton:
- Be gentle – to stay injury-free.
- Be progressive – to gradually become stronger and fitter.
- Keep it fun – so you’ll be motivated to continue
1. Be Gentle.
Many peoples first instinct when starting a new training program or workout, it to “go hard out of the gates” so to speak. This is dangerous for two reasons.
Firstly, it can lead to excessive muscle pain that prevents running shortly thereafter (and derails the program early on). While some muscle pain is normal, as you are recruiting muscles that likely haven’t been used in a while, it’s always best to start off slow. Begin with a shorter distance. 2 or 3 km is often enough at the outset. As well, don’t push your pace too much initially. Warm up with a light jog for the first kilometre or so, and slowly build on that. Don’t shy away from taking one minute walking breaks if need be. Above all, listen to your body!!
Secondly, running too aggressively early on can lead to injury or re- injury that requires a long term recovery. Finding the right shoe can greatly help if you are recovering from injury or hoping to prevent one! Everyones bodies are built differently, and as such, we require different supports while running. Running Room’s website is equipped with a helpful online footwear guide that you can find here. If you would prefer to chat with a knowledgable Running Room fit Expert (virtual or in- store), they can assist you in finding the proper shoe, based on your gait and the unique features of your feet. For example, if you have shin splints or issues with your achilles, the fit experts will be able to guide you towards a pair of runners that will minimize those issues. If you’d like to reach out to a fit expert virtually, click here! Or visit one at any of the Running Room Locations, including their newest store in Rabbit Hill (Opening this Fall!). To find the location nearest to you, click here.
My favorite Hoka One Runners! These were recommended by a Running Room fit expert and have helped support my knees and prevent further injury.
2. Be Progressive
Building off of being gentle and kind to your body, being progressive means making incremental increases in distance and speed over time. To use a running analogy… think of it is a marathon, not a sprint. Ha, Ha! If you are looking for guidance on how to slowly develop and increase both of these areas of your running, I recommend subscribing to one of the many amazing Online Training Programs the Running Room Offers. I have participated in a few of these over the years, and found so much value in them. There are new Learn to Run, 5K, 10K, and half marathon programs starting October 12. They are priced very reasonably, at $59.99 for 10-12 week programs or $69.99 for 18 week programs (half marathon). For Further details on these amazing programs click here!
3. Keep it Fun
For me, this is one of the most important parts! Over time, running truly has become something fun and enjoyable that I genuinely look forward to! Based on my experience, I keep running fun in two main ways. Running with friends, and signing up for events/races. I know what you are thinking. Races? Running with friends? Doesn’t sound possible in our current Covid- 19 reality.
That being said, I’ve been able to make running a “Social” event by running with just a few close friends. By creating a running bubble, and running outside, we are able to keep our distance and still enjoy running AND visiting. I find when I run with a friend, even if I wake up and don’t feel like running, knowing I can have a social visit motivates me to get those shoes on! While many races and running events were previously cancelled at the outset of the pandemic, it’s exciting to see that some running events are taking place virtually! Local favorites, the Santa Shuffle, The Brick Resolution Run & the Hypothermic Half are BACK!!! For me, there is no better feeling than crushing a goal- and having a “race” to work towards (and the feeling of accomplishment afterwards) is definitely FUN!! For further details on these events, click here. Running Room is also hosting bi-weekly free virtual events here. You can also give Running Room a follow on instagram to participate in “Virtual Run Club videos” every Wednesday and Saturday.
We hope these three main tips help get you off on the right foot, so to speak! If you have any further Questions please feel free to reach out to us on instagram or via email. Remember to consult your doctor prior to beginning a new training program!
*We were thrilled to partner with the Running Room to create this post. As alway, all thoughts and opinions are our own*