Since starting Runner 2 Mumma I’ve had numerous women reach out to me saying they’d like to start running or start running again but really don’t know where or how to start.
Running is a wonderful way to carve some time for yourself, improves your mental health and wellbeing, as well as the numerous physical benefits. If you’ve recently had a baby I recommend you start with my previous post with accredited Exercise Physiologist Kiera Underwood to make sure your pelvic floor and core are in good shape.
Getting (back) into running is doable and doesn’t have to be difficult. One of the things I love most about running is all you need is a pair of shoes and you’re good to go. To form a running habit to start running consistently you will need some determination and commitment, but the rewards will be worth the investment in yourself!
Pick a race or event
If you’re someone who is extrinsically motivated signing up for a race or event is a good way to start. Sign up, tell your friends and family to keep you accountable and pick a training plan to get you race ready! There’s a bunch of free ones online that will get you to the finish line – just make sure you allow yourself enough time to train.
Whether you’re getting into running for the first time or returning after a hiatus, take it slow. Try either a run/walk method (look up Jeff Galloway) and don’t go out too hard too fast. As your fitness increases, so too will your pace. For now, all that matters is you’re getting out there! Running slowly and not too frequently will also help you stay injury free. Aim for 3 times a week and set a time goal. For example, run 3 minutes/walk 1 minute for a total of 20 minutes and gradually increase the time on feet weekly. You can then start to increase the running intervals and decrease the walking time.
Find a run buddy
Finding a friend to run with you, even if you can only manage to meet up once a week will keep you accountable and motivated. It’s easier to pike on a run by yourself, but when you know someone else is counting on you, you’re more likely to stick with it! Plus, it will force you to run at a more comfortable conversational pace as you catch up with your mate!
Setting some SMART goals will also help you stick with your running. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time related (SMART) goals will keep you on track, motivated and enjoying running as you progress and achieve your goals. An example of a SMART running goal would be running a 5km race. It’s specific, measurable by the fact that you’ve completed the event, very achievable (with enough time and a training schedule), realistic as you’re not saying run a 5km and qualify for the 2020 olympics! Finally, make it time related by picking an event with enough time to train – so say 12 weeks from now.
I hope this helps and let me know what event you’ve signed up for!