How to start running, and what do you need to get started?

Nothing.  And that’s my favorite part about running.  You can truly have as little as possible, but still be able to go out for a run.  It instantly increases the heart-rate, and builds your cardiovascular fitness.  Even a 10 minute run, does amazing things to the mind, and endocrine system, and overall health and good feels for that day.

I decided on running just 20 minutes a day.  I figure, for me personally, it is just enough time to run hard for 20 minutes, but not too long to get hurt.  The last thing I want is to get hurt, and I have been blessed that for the past 35 years, even with exercise most years I’ve never really hurt myself. I  mean, the ego plenty of times, but the body, not so much.

So, if you are a runner, have been a runner, want to be a runner, or just want to start running, what do you need?

1 – Pair of sneakers.  Are the more expensive shoes better?  Mostly, yes.  If you have super healthy feet, wear shoes that are great for running for your foot and body.  The older I get, the more of an investment I will make in my shoes, because again, I want my feet to stay extremely healthy and pain free.  They tend to get sore, so I want a 20 minute massage when I run, versus a pounding and throbbing post run.  I used to be able to get away with $39.99 Saucony’s from Marshall’s, and in Dec 2017, I purchased a much more expensive pair from ASICS ($179).  I really enjoyed those, and they felt great.  This year, my 2018 shoe, is a $79 Saucony shoe.  The reviews were solid and I’m still breaking them in, but I’m worried that they aren’t as cushy as my ASICS.  Buttttt, I’ll make them work, and continue to learn more about my feet and what they like while they are running!  I have been getting into a habit of buying a new shoe each year for my birthday, so I’ll continue this and take care of them so they last extra long.

Also, buy 1/2 size BIGGER than your regular shoe.  I wear a 9.5, so my running shoes are always a 10.  I read about this tip in Runner’s World so many years ago, and it has always served me well.  The article mentioned the foot naturally swells while running, so you want to give it a bit more space.

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2 – Clothes.  Obviously, super simple.  Anything that doesn’t irritate you.  But if you are starting off with just 10 or 20 minute runs, something irritating while running and surviving might strengthen the mind.  I run in a pair of athletic leggings, a sports bar and a sports tank top, and good socks – and more clothes on top if the weather calls for it.  If you live in colder climate, a headband/hat and gloves are a must.  Every day for the past week my runs have been in 30 degree weather, so this mama was not leaving the house unless I was covered head to toe in some type of winter-wear.

3 – Runkeeper.  I really like this app.  It’s completely free.  I set it to give me a time & mileage update every 5 minutes.  So as soon as it says:  20 minutes…I get to end my run.  I also find it extremely accurate.  I also have a FitBit, and have set it on a run in the past, and the GPS on the Fitbit is completely of.  If I run 2 miles, it tells me I’ve only run 1.87 miles, and well, that doesn’t work for anyone.  I still wear my Fitbit while running, to gather my steps, but I won’t use it to count my mileage.

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4 – I put my phone in what is an updated fanny-pack or currently called a running belt.  I purchased this because I kept putting my phone in the side of my pants/hip area, and it kept sliding or falling out.  If you are out there crushing your fitness, you don’t want to be crashing your smart phone, so use something to hold on to it tightly.  I find that when running I sometimes put on a motivational video from YouTube or find a playlist of songs, and it’s pretty simple to access even while running.  I don’t wear earbuds, but I have in the past, and they went well with this running belt as well.

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5 – Now, you are all ready to get out the door and run.  Run for 5 minutes the first time, and then maybe 6 the next day.  Work your way up to 20 minutes or 30 minutes, or whatever amount it is you fancy and find important for your body.  Running for me isn’t about going long each and every day.  It’s about WAKING up my body and mind so that the day is incredible, and I easily recognize the good parts of every hour.  Instantly, tell yourself you are in shape, and believe it.  Run for one minute, and then walk for one, and run for one and walk for one – get started any way you need to.  Do I believe that everyone can run?  Yes, especially for two miles per day, each day.

I’m excited to keep sharing this year and this 2018 running journey with all, and I am excited that many people are already on theirs or will start their journeys asap.  Doing something hard isn’t rewarding while we’re doing it (it’s more of a pain in da arse), but the benefits are tremendous immediately after.  A runner’s high or an exercise high is more powerful than anything you could ever drink or smoke, and that is truly winning, because it’s a FREE HIGH.

Cheers Runners!

 

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