I started to run in the winter of 2012. Like many people, I made a New Year’s resolution to complete a 5k (3.1 miles) race. Before I started, the distance seemed overwhelming. I also didn’t like to run. After making some missteps along the way, I was able to complete my first 5k. In fact, I started to love it and have continued to run! Here are the steps I took to begin a running program and transform into a runner!
1. Make realistic expectations. If you do not currently run, you will not be able to run a 5k without appropriate training. It will take time. Although many programs exist to help you on your journey, the best I found was Couch to 5k. I started this training program after doing my own thing for a few weeks. Having a set schedule and running for a time amount instead of distance really helped me get into a rhythm. It took me longer than the suggested time period, but I was eventually able to run the entire 3.1 miles.
2. Get appropriate running shoes. When I decided to start my training, I went to a department store and bought a pair of sneakers with “running” in the title. This was not a good idea. It took me 6 months, and long after my first official race, to realize that a lot of my trouble was not my technique or ability. It was my shoes! Go to a real running store with trained employees to fit you appropriately after watching you run. The store I went to videoed me running on a treadmill for 5 minutes and then analyzed my stride. It turned out I suffered from overpronation and needed stability shoes. The pain I had been experiencing completely disappeared when I had appropriate shoes!
3. Sign up for an official race! The motivation to start running often wanes after a few weeks. Having a race on the calender can keep you in training mode. Choose a race far enough away to give you time to train and close enough to keep enthusiasm high. With so many races to choose from there is sure to be one that fits any personality. Working towards the end result of completing the race will help keep your determination strong and help you reach your goal!