I am not very good at running, but last year my boss somehow convinced me and my coworkers to do the Tough Mudder with him. We trained from June to September, and I was able to get up off the couch and do 11 miles of running, jumping, swimming, climbing, and everything else you could think of.
I never knew it was possible, but with the help of my girlfriend (she runs like all the time), here are some tips to get yourself in tip top shape for running!
- Pretend you know what you’re doing – My high school tennis coach once told me that the number one rule of playing tennis is you gotta look cool. It’s a funny joke, but there’s also some truth to it. Part of it is dressing the part. Get yourself some nice shoes and comfy clothes (maybe even an armband for your phone, more on that later) so you can feel good about yourself while you’re out there. Not only that, but it will also help prevent injuries that could easily be avoided. The other part of looking cool is just doing it right. Just keep your head up, mind your manners on the trail, and don’t quit. This is just something you’ll have to get used to.
- Ease into it – Let’s be honest. There’s no way you can do a 5k right off the bat unless you’re already fit. Don’t expect to automatically be good–your muscles and lungs will need some time to adjust to the activities you’re putting them through. You can start by looking up training schedules (C25K is a really popular one, and there are millions of others that are just a google search away).
- Listen to music – This is just to help you get into the right mindset. You can make a playlist that will pump you up or you can just pull up your favorite upbeat Pandora/Spotify stations that are already custom made for exercising. If music isn’t your thing, it’s ok. I’m actually listening to podcasts during my runs. Whatever the case, it just helps the time go by faster and gets your mind off of thoughts like “I’m so tired”.
- Track your progress - I mentioned earlier that you can start with a training plan. It’s up to you whether you want to set goals, but I think it’s a good idea to know that you’re at least doing better than when you started. Personally, I use RunKeeper on my phone. It tracks my progress as I run and tells me my pace and stuff. I can look at a list of all the activities I’ve logged and check how I’m doing week-by-week.
- Stay hydrated – Okay, guys. This is important. Not just for running but for life. Drink water.
Please note that I’m no expert on running. I’m not averaging 10-minute miles nor do I consider myself a runner. But these are just a few things that helped me get on the right track, so if you’re really serious about it, you should do some additional research online. Hope this list helps!