Updated: May 18
If I'm being totally honest, I think starting something new usually sucks. Starting a new job, playing a new sport, creating a new routine, or starting at a new school...they all have one thing in common...THEY SUUUCK!!
Yeah, it might be exciting to start something new, but it's also ridiculously hard! You don't know how to do anything, you feel uncomfortable and have no confidence, you might not know anyone who can help...and on top of all of that, it might just be physically demanding!
Well, running is no different. When you start to run for the first time, or after a long break, believe me...it sucks.
Should I do specific workouts?
Should I run faster or slower?
Should I wear different shoes?
Should I stretch before or after my runs?
Should I sit on the curb and cry or wait until I get home?
These are all questions that will probably go through your mind at some point through the first few months of your running journey. I know this, because I remember asking myself all of these questions and waaaaaaay more.
So today, in this article, we're going to commiserate with one another and discuss some of the reasons why it's so hard to start running...and why YOU should stick with it!
You have no idea what you're doing
You don't know the difference between a tempo run and hill repeats. You don't know if you should push through a hard run or just try to log "easy" miles. You don't know your hamstring from your shoelace so your recovery stretches aren't going real well.
This is probably the most frustrating part about starting to run. You just have no idea what you should be doing!
Your friend tells you to look online for a running plan, but you have no clue what half of the words and acronyms mean! You have a sweet new fitness tracker but it's just showing you a bunch of numbers and letters and you feel like you're watching an episode of Sesame Street.
A million running "influencers" on Instagram are telling you a million different things to do, and you don't know who to trust.
Soooo....you just say "Screw it" and binge watch Netflix and eat 147 mini-Snickers.
Everything hurts and you're dying
So you finally figure out that it probably doesn't matter what "workouts" you're doing right now since you can barely run half a block before you have to stop and eat the orange slices your mom packed you.
You've decided you're just going to go for it! You're going to run a little bit every day until you can run your first mile!!
Then, the day after your first run, you try to get out of bed and fall on your face. You realize that you can't walk up the stairs without making dinosaur noises, and everyone thinks you're holding in a fart because of that face you're always making.
This is your reward for choosing to be a better person, enjoy!
You're slow...oh, and you look stupid
Eventually you're able to run twice a week without feeling like you'll need to be med-evaced at the end of your run. After a while you can run 3 times a week! And after 6 months of running you're crushing your runs 4 times a week! Phew, FINALLY!!!
You're actually on your way to feeling confident about running! You feel a sense of pride when you tell people you're a runner. You start posting some of your runs on Facebook and Strava (but only the fast ones). And you start looking for some groups to run with.
Then on your next run you catch your reflection in a shop window. At first you thought it might have been a statue, but no...it's you... and you're barely moving. For some reason your legs aren't moving nearly as fast as you thought. I mean, this is ridiculous...you're barely shuffling! And why are you wearing so much fluorescent stuff!!?!??!
This list could go on...pretty much forever. There are countless reasons why starting to run is going to suck. Some reasons apply to you because you're old and chubby, like me...some reasons apply to you because you're young and skinny, like...the high school version of me.
But most of these will apply to you just because you're new to running.
So yes...starting to run for the first time, or even after a few years off, is insanely tough. It takes courage, perseverance, discipline, dedication, and a sense of humor to get through those first few grueling months.
But there comes a point when you start dreading your runs less and actually start looking forward to them!
And, after a while, you might start to really enjoy them. And at some point, you might turn into that person that can't live without running.
But you have to start where the rest us started...at the beginning...hating your life for a little while.
And if you stick with it...
You can run in races
You can meet tons of amazing runners like yourself
You can find out what a "runner's high" is
You can eat more pie
You can eat more pie
You can eat more pie
You'll spend more time outdoors
You can build a better body (if you don't eat too much pie)
You'll build mental fortitude
You'll be less embarrassed at high school reunions
You can use cool lingo like "pain cave"
Look, there are tons of articles out there that tell you all of the amazing things about running. But I know first hand that when you start running, it all just seems like a pile of lies!
You don't have more energy, you can't move your legs and you want to go to bed at 8:30pm.
You just have to remember, that you have to earn it. Stick with it, enjoy the pain, and relish in the fact that it does get better!
I mean, did you even read about the pie thing?
Ok, listen up!
If you are a new runner... click here ...to find more articles that will help you!
If you are an overweight runner... click here ...to find more articles that will help you!
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