So you bought the shoes, the gear, the pavement is calling your name and you’re ready to head out on your first run. It doesn’t matter how far you run, what you’re wearing or how you look—if you’re putting one foot in front of the other then you ARE a runner.
But here are a few things you should know:
It’s hard work.
Running is hard for everyone, even those who have been doing it for years. While it’s true that the endorphins combined with a certain level of fitness can occasionally result in a run that feels “effortless,” those runs can be few and far between. Each run requires will power to get out the door and keep going, but you’ll never regret a run.
Hang on for at least 4 weeks.
It takes about 3-4 weeks for your body to adapt to a new stress. If you’ve started running for the first time and are feeling frustrated give yourself at least four weeks, not just for the habit creation but also because that’s about how long it will for you to build a base level of fitness.
It’s mostly mental.
While running is a physical activity, the mental aspect of running is incredibly important. Olympic bronze medalist Lynn Jennings said, “Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body.” Being a successful runner doesn’t mean winning races, it means beating the voice of doubt inside yourself.
It can be your ticket to self-discovery.
The first step you take that makes you a runner is the first step on a journey to self discovery. There’s something about testing not only your physical limits, but defeating your own doubts (or the doubts of others) that teaches you about yourself and helps reveal a strength you didn’t know you had.