By Rachel Grunwell
1. The hardest part about starting a run journey is making the decision to start. So, start today.
2. Small steps work best. Start with 10-15 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. Be okay about being an absolute beginner. Own this. If you practice anything then you get better at it ie sport/music/painting etc. 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. So, trust the process.
5. 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 feeling good – and this is success. Remember this.
6. The “runner’s high” is science-backed and real. The hormones and science behind this phenomenon is in my book Balance. It’s super interesting. When you run you can also go into a state of “flow” too. This is a research-backed state. Flow is a wellbeing secret to feeling happy. There are different ways you can find flow by the way. Running is just one way. ps running is also free (besides needing a pair of decent run shoes, that is).
7. Movement can help you 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.
8. 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. My biggest wish is to inspire my kids to be healthy. That to me is success: Healthy kids.
9. Believe you can be a runner and you likely will be a runner. Believe you won’t and you likely will never get there. ps if I can go from being an unfit mum 10 years ago, to a competent runner – then I reckon almost anyone can. And I love breaking down barriers to share “how”.
10. 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 takes the stress out of getting out the door.
11. 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. If you are failing to plan then you are planning to fail.
12. You don’t need fancy run gear. All you really need is an “I can attitude” and a decent pair of shoes to run in.
13. Surround yourself with inspiring friends who are into fitness. Chat to them about your journey so they can cheer you on.
14. 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.
15. 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…)
16. Believe in yourself. You can do this.
17. Wear sunscreen when you are out walking or running. I like to wear a hat too.
18. A fitness tracker is cool for keeping count of your daily steps – or how far you run. It’s great to know exactly how you are going so you can monitor your progress over time.
19. Say hi to other walkers and runners when you are out there on-the-run. It’s really nice to connect to your community.
20. Do some stretching/yoga for a couple of minutes after a run. It brings length back to tight muscles.
Connect with Rachel on Instagram for more fitness and wellness inspo. 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 through marathons. 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 uplift your performance etc…
Find out more about the book Balance HERE