by: Trey Brush
One of the most common questions I hear from anyone interested in getting started with running is, “where do I start?” That is true with most anything. Everything looks so overwhelming from the outside that many times it is too intimidating to try and figure out where to begin. This still happens to me today in many areas.
You can get overwhelmed by questions like, what type of shoes, what do I wear, do I need a running watch, how far do I run, will I be the only one who does not look like a runner.
We are almost half way into this year and with summer getting ready to start I thought it would be a good time to talk about “The Art of Start”. Where do you begin? There is still time this year to make some changes. There is time to run that first 5k or step up to a longer distance. Whether it is a new year, a new month or a new season I love to find reasons to start fresh. Below are some ideas that have helped me on how to start.
1. Get moving.
I am a planner and love to have a game plan before I do anything, so this one is tough for me. Don’t wait for everything to be perfectly planned to begin. Make the plan as you get moving. (That is hard for me to even say but it is true) Have you noticed how much easier it is to turn the steering wheel in the car when it is moving versus sitting still? Forward progress is always better. Do you want to run that first 5k? Start walking today and then begin to make a plan to start your training. Don’t wait to get shoes, don’t let what you wear stress you, just start moving today. Here is the key, once you begin moving you will start to gain some momentum and the desire will increase. You will then have a greater desire to go get those shoes and not use it as an excuse.
2. Start small and be realistic.
If you have not run a 5K, it is not a good idea to start with a marathon training plan! Do what you can do. If you are not exercising at all, try to begin walking or moving several times a week to start with. Walk at lunch, walk in the morning or just park at the end of every parking lot you go to. If you try to tackle something too big, you will likely become discouraged and quit early on. Stretch yourself, but be realistic about your expectations early on. Set reasonable goals; celebrate those victories, and keep growing and setting new ones. It is very important to celebrate those victories along the way to keep building momentum.
3. Be willing to make some changes.
People don’t make changes in their life until they are made uncomfortable. Pain and disgust are the two biggest motivators for change. If you want to change, you must acknowledge that your current situation is no longer an option. Have you become uncomfortable enough to change?
4. Be flexible.
Your plan is a “guideline”. Be willing to make adjustments. You will most likely at some point in your plan miss a goal or two. This is where one of two things happens. First, many get discouraged and quit. Second, you can make an adjustment and keep moving forward. Your plan will not be perfect. As I have heard in some coaching recently, you are not looking for perfection. You are looking for progress. Most of the time when you hit a wall and you feel like you are stuck is when a breakthrough is just around the corner. The problem is most people quit just before that moment of breakthrough. Don’t quit!
So how did you start? Let us know in the comments below!
Trey is a runner and coach with a desire to help create change in others. He lost 80 pounds on his journey from a watcher in life to a doer. His passion for running and creating change led him from the couch to marathons and ultramarathons. He is a husband and the father of 2 boys living in Jefferson GA. You can follow Trey on twitter @RunOnPurpose