The smug answer is “just run” unfortunately like most things in life it’s not that easy. In fact, once you have made the decision to start running and have a concerted effort at it, those early runs can be the hardest runs you ever do.
So with that in mind. Go slow and I mean slow. A common mistake is to start running and after a few hundred meters it feels easy so you naturally increase the pace slightly. Then you find your lungs burning this pain seems to increase because most people who start running are doing it at as a New Years resolution and as such it’s usually cold ( sorry Southern Hemisphere people) the cold gets deep into those tubes and it stings. Then the legs start to feel heavy and sometimes you get a searing pain in one of the shoulders. You stop and that was horrific. You do the same thing the next day hoping this time it won’t be so bad however, it’s worse. Those heavy legs are stiff from yesterday’s efforts. A lot of people give up because the harsh reality is as I said at the start is running or starting to run is hard.
So go slow and stay slow. So slow in fact it will feel too easy. It needs to stay that way for at least a week maybe two. If you want to walk then walk. Paula Radcliffe the current world record holder for the women’s marathon often walks when out training on her slow runs. So don’t ever feel like you are being lazy or not doing it “right”.
I have started and restarted running numerous times over the last 20 years. Unless you are the most dedicated person in the world then this starting restarting is going to happen. The principles still apply start slow and stay slow.
Below is a running schedule for beginners. Like all these things they are not set in stone and should simply provide a framework for you to use. Life will get in the way of your running but don’t let it stop you in your tracks. Just start from where you left off.
Click here to download the schedule.
Feeling Self Conscious
If you’re a bit embarrassed to go out running and worry what people think then always remember you’re the one taking control and doing something positive. If you have a friend that’s willing to go out on a few runs ask them to join you. Ultimately though you want your runs to become imbued in your everyday life. This feeling of self-consciousness will simply wear off after a few runs when you see how much you are left alone.