Monday, May 2

Sticking with it (for beginners)

A friend of mine is training for her first 5k, and had been making excellent progress. Unfortunately she's hit a plateau (largely a result of work and life throwing up roadblocks to running). So I've been brainstorming advice to help her hurdle those roadblocks.

1 - Run with a group.
I cannot possibly emphasize this enough. If you run with a single running buddy or a group you achieve a level of accountability that prevents you from flaking out on a run. (I'm too tired. I'm sore. I'll do it tomorrow.) Get a move on! Someone is waiting for you!
Plus, group runs can be a lot of fun.

2 - Hang your running clothes (or running shoes) somewhere you HAVE to see them.
"The first step out the door is the hardest" is one of the truest mantras for a beginner runner. So make that first step easier. If your gear is in easy reach, it makes it much harder for your brain to use the "it's too much effort" excuse.
Once you get going, you'll be glad you did.

3 - One bad day does not mean you "can't run."
It has taken me more than a decade to figure out that I am a competent runner who sometimes has a bad day. This is a matter of statistics as much as one of perspective. When you are just starting out, a single bad day could be a sizable percentage of your total running experience. You may want to throw in the towel. (I am just not meant for this.) When that happens, remember: As you cover more miles, you'll start to realize that you have some stellar good days and you have some disasters.
Don't let the disasters dictate who you are as a runner.

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