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Wondering how to become a runner? Yes, curvy girls run too. I'm sharing how and why I became a runner, along with a few simple things that helped me to sustain my favorite exercise.
Younger me would have laughed at you if you suggested I'd become a runner. My dad was a runner my entire life, and I'm……not exactly the most athletic person on earth. I tried jogging with him a couple times in high school and lasted about 3 blocks. I couldn't get past the initial time to start running stage. It felt ANYTHING but easy, and if I'm being honest…..I'm not exactly the best athlete.
So what changed? Yup, if you follow me on Instagram then you know I run multiple times a week now and that I LOVE IT.
In my late twenties, I started to experience anxiety attacks. Crippling anxiety attacks that led me to a therapist to ask for help. I walked in the first day and told her I was open to whatever she felt I needed to do. Imagine my surprise when she suggested RUNNING. That was NOT what I expected. She explained that a lot of people who struggle with anxiety find the repeated cadence of running soothing. She also explained it wasn't a “fix it all” but that it would be important as we did other work to work on finding a stress release. And running was her top suggestion.
So I left her office complaining under my breath. AGAIN? Why did this keep coming up? Didn't everyone realize I wasn't athletic or outdoorsy? But, I was willing to try anything. I did a TON of research about how to become a runner, and now? Over ten years later? I still run multiple times a week and absolutely love it. Yes, seriously.
So this? It's the how to become a runner guide for you non-athletes. I promise, it's not scary and will help you to fall in love with running. It's not ridiculously challenging, and will ease you into running in a way that is empowering and REASONABLE. In my tips list…….I'm sharing all my favorite tips and tricks for how to become a runner for EVERYONE, including my must-have products and what I need for running every time.
Spoiler: I believe that you'll be more excited to train if you love your athletic wear and if it's both comfortable and functional. Chafing? Nope. Lack of support in a sports bra? Nope. Headphones that fall out or shoes that constantly come untied? Nope, nope and nope. So we're going to talk movement, music, and yes…….finding gear that works for YOU. These things combined? Will make running enjoyable. And who wants to do something that isn't enjoyable? The point of exercise is physical and mental health. It shouldn't be torture. It should make you feel GREAT.
How to Become a Runner: 6 Simple Tips
Couch to 5K Training Program: The Couch to 5k Training Program is a free interval training schedule and it's exactly what I used to become a runner (they now have an app that will help you AS you run, and it's $2.99). It takes you from walking to jogging a 5k in a structured and easy schedule. You'll start mostly walking and jogging for very short periods of time. Over the course of the program, the amount you run increases and the amount you walk decreases. And the best part? It's such a gradual increase, it's easy to do! The program is meant to be used for three days a week (30 minutes each time) over a nine week period. The best part? You can always take it slow. Do one interval level for two or three weeks if you need to. There is no specific timeline you need to adhere to. And? You can do this at any level of fitness. Jogging slowly is fine. This is about walking and then running or jogging. Even now, years later I'm not a fast runner. Speed isn't my goal. Moving and enjoying my run is.
Podcasts and Music: Now, my experienced runner dad races and jogs in silence. Me? NO WAY. I download podcasts or set up playlists. Even when I'm running a race. It helps me to stay on track and on pace. My suggestion? Find what you love, music that makes you run a little faster or dance down the sidewalks in your neighborhood (lately it's Beyonce for me). I also go through stages where I love listening to a podcast or an audiobook as I run. Basically, find something that you ENJOY listening to.
Group or Alone: Decide if you are a train in a group (when it's safe) or train alone type of person. While I'm a total extrovert, I'm definitely a jog alone person. I love decompressing on a short run at the park near our house or around our neighborhood. If you're around people all day (kids or adults), I'd highly suggest jogging on your own…it's a great way to decompress. Some people love running clubs or finding a buddy to train with.
Where Will You Run: Treadmill or outdoor running? For the record, when it come to running…..I'm an outdoor person all the way. However, I live in Southern California where the weather allows year round outdoor exercise. That may not be the case for you. You can also do a combo of both….whatever works in your climate and with your lifestyle.
Have a Goal: Sign up for a race (even a virtual one). Have a goal in mind. When I decided to learn how to become a runner, I immediately signed up for a 5k race twelve weeks ahead. It kept me on track with training, and I loved having a fun goal in mind. Something that will make you proud when you complete it is key here.
The Right Gear: The right gear is key for jogging and so is keeping it in tip top shape. Running tights or capris (I'm a fan of zella leggings) in the warmer seasons, good sports bras, and great running shoes will help you feel comfortable during training and races. I tend to wear brighter colors (like the adorable rainbow band on this sports bra) because they make working out just a little more fun. But the key here? You want support, clothes that fit well and prevent chafing and shoes that are meant for the type of exercise you are doing (trail, road, treadmill). Additional for me? Great headphones and really good nonslip socks.
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Are you a jogger? What are YOUR top tips for how to become a runner with ease?