1. Block out your calendar
Treat running like any other thing on your calendar. Say, “Okay, I can’t do anything else every Tuesday at 4:30 P.M, because I’m running.” Sure, life gets in the way sometimes, but the beauty of running is that all you need is a pair of running shoes, shorts, a T-shirt. The hardest part of getting into running is getting your shoes on. There’s always a fear for people who haven’t run in years about whether they can “still run.” But remember, if you go out for a run, you’re a runner. There’s no special membership you have to pay for, or distance you have to go, or time you have to clock. A runner is someone who is running.
2. Not every run has to be difficult
The first five runs should be easy, fun, and comfortable. Don’t worry about time or distance. Go out with a group of friends and run around the block a few times, or go to the track and run a few laps. The biggest thing I tell people who are starting is to be easy. If you set out to do a certain time or distance right away and it’s not attainable, it can be really discouraging.
3. Decide what success looks like
Start small. “Okay, I’m going to run once a week, every week, for the next three weeks.” People always say they don’t like running because it’s something they dread. It helps if you, set concrete goals for yourself.
4. Find a comfortable pace
You should start at a speed that allows you to talk to the people you’re running with. This is called a social pace. Try it for, say, 15 minutes. A lot of people who start out have a hard time running for five minutes without stopping, and for them, we suggest turning it into intervals or in simple terms ‘run-walk’. If you’re going out for 40 minutes, go out for a jog, and when you need a breather, allow yourself to walk it out.
5. Track your progress
Use an app, to track your time, distance, and pace after your run. In a month’s time, when you look back at your results and compare, you’ll notice the changes in yourself. This is essential in proving to yourself you can do it. Everyone surprises themselves when they see the differences.
6. Indoors or outdoors?
If running to a destination isn’t your thing, stick to the treadmill. Some people prefer to do speed work on the treadmill: You can just set it and forget it, and it might allow you to hit speeds that you wouldn’t outside. Other people hate the treadmill. They want to see where they’re going and get to a destination. Experiment with both, but always do what motivates you.
7. Mix up your music
If you listen to music while you run, make playlists for different kinds of runs. Feeling sluggish, put on a more mellow playlist and have an easy run. Feeling strong, consider doing a speed workout to an upbeat playlist.
9. Don’t do what isn’t fun
A lot of people think that if you’re a runner, you have to run six days a week, and that’s not true. If you love something, you can do it a lot. But it’s a choice. If you want to see improvement in your running, aim for two to three runs a week. But you don’t have to drop everything that you’re doing—yoga, or strength training, or whatever else. Even if you’re doing it once a week, and it’s purely for enjoyment, you’re golden.
10. Join a crew
If running alone isn’t your thing then you don’t have to worry. Since forming in 2007 Nikes London based running crew Run Dem Crew is over 500 strong and runs groups from ‘Tortoise” – “Elite” you can find the right group for you. Another great Nike backed running crew with a difference – and our personal favourite – is Track Mafia, a group of energetic, talented runners and coaches who congregate at Paddington Rec in West London every Thursday to catch up, build friendships and train hard. Founded by the larger than life Corey Wharton-Malcolm he makes the sessions as colourful as his running gear and is certain to get you buzzing for every session. The bonus about Track Mafia? They’re actually running coaches, you learn as you go, so not only will they help you get fitter, they’ll also help you run smarter and better.