By Rachel Grunwell

1. The hardest part about starting a run journey is making the decision to start. So, start today. Just jump!

2. Small steps work best. Start with 10-minutes twice weekly. Walk a power-pole, run the next. Repeat. Take it slow and easy. This gives your muscles and ligaments time to adapt and strengthen. It’s all about time in motion at this stage and it doesn’t matter if it’s all walking. The worst thing you can do it run too hard and long too soon.

3. Ask a mate (or several mates!) to join you on your beginner run journey. You can cheer each other on. It makes the journey more fun too. On those days that you feel unmotivated to run, it will spur you into action if you know a mate is waiting for you.

4. Spend a brief time doing some dynamic stretches before you run. This gets your body primed for moving well ie dynamic lunges.

5. Do some yoga static stretches for a brief time after your run. This brings length back to tight muscles. I’ve got run stretches on a blog on this site too – so seek that out.

6. Enter a 10km event that’s several months away ie the Rotorua Marathon event on September 26 (join me!). Having a goal to work towards gives you a reason to keep up your run journey. It scares you into action. Enter by clicking the link HERE.

7. Be okay about being an absolute beginner. Own this! If you practice anything then you get better at it. The same philosophy applies with a run journey. After a few weeks, you will feel stronger and fitter. After several weeks, you’ll notice you can run a bit more than before. It feels amazing! So, trust the process.

8. Only a small percentage of runners try to win run events. Most people – like you and me – run for our wellbeing. It’s all about that finish-line moment and this is success. Remember this.

9. The “runner’s high” is science-backed and real. I explain the hormones and science behind this phenomenon in my book Balance. It’s super interesting. When you run you can also go into a state of “flow”. This is a science-backed state too that I detail in my book too. Flow is a wellbeing secret to feeling happy. There are different ways you can find flow. Running is just one way. It’s also free (besides needing a pair of decent run shoes, that is).

10. Be okay about progression. Never strive for perfectionism. Your run journey is about uplifting your wellness journey. Every time you run or walk this is a positive thing for your body and mind. Movement is medicine. It impacts on how you think, feel and perform. It actually changes your brain. So, you are smarter if you run! Literally.

11. The World Health Organisation prescribes 30-minutes’ exercise daily. This really is a minimum. So, walking and running is a smart way to “up” your daily movement. Actually, that WHO guideline is barely a baseline for good health. Getting your heart-rate up on a run a few times a week is epic for your health…

12. Movement is part of a prescription for wellness. It’s not all about weight-management or fitness. Movement can help people better manage things like anxiety and depression too. It’s a genuine mood-lifter. So if you feel down sometimes, focus in on this reason alone and keep running.

13. A walk or run journey is a great way to inspire your kids into movement. They may not listen to everything you say (or is that only my teenagers chuckle). But they definitely watch everything you do. The greatest thing I can do for my kids is to inspire them as a kick-ass role-model on ways to be healthy. That to me is success: Healthy kids.

14. Believe you can be a runner and you likely will. Believe you won’t and you likely will never get there. ps if I can go from being an unfit mum seven years ago, to a competent runner – then I reckon almost anyone can. And I love breaking down barriers to share “how”.

15. Put your run clothes and shoes out the night before. So all you have to do is wake up, roll out of bed, get dressed and walk out the door and move. This trick helps!

16. Put in your calendar 2-3 timess weekly when you will commit to going for a run/walk/jog/skip. If you schedule in your workouts then you have something to aim for.

17. You don’t need fancy run gear. All you really need is an “I can attitude”.

18. Surround yourself with inspiring friends who are into fitness. Chat to them about your journey so they can cheer you on.

19. Tell family and friends about your new health journey. They’ll likely ask how you are doing over the coming weeks and keep you accountable and encouraged.

20. Learn to be a mindful runner. Savour being outside in the fresh air and sunshine and enjoy these moments of “me time” (away from all those devices too, right. Yeah, I’m guilty of this too…) 

Connect with Rachel on Instagram for more run inspo in the build up to the Rotorua Marathon event. Click HERE

Rachel is a qualified coach, yoga teacher & experienced runner. She’s conquered 25 marathons at last count, including guiding a string of disabled athletes. She’s the author of Balance: Food, Health + Happiness. The book has 30 global experts on how to be healthier and happier, plus 30 nourishing recipes. There’s lots of run stuff in the book ie inspiring stories, recipes to fuel your run, to experts sharing how the runner’s high works, to a neuroscientist sharing how you can lift your performance etc…

Order a copy of the book HERE