I used to hate running. Seriously, running 400m around a track would damn well near kill me. I would be panting, grabbing the cramp on my side and giving an evil stink eye to others who didn't seem to be enduring as much pain as I was in.
I am still somewhat hesitate to call myself a runner as my old 'non-runner' days seem not so distant, but when I stop to think about it, I have been a runner for over 12 years! When I think back, there is a dirty little secret that no one shared with me until years later. Now, I am blowing the top off this secret and sharing it with the world. Yes this means there will likely be an influx of people into the running community, but I say bring it! We want you to join us, hell, we would LOVE for you to join us. The more the merrier! On behalf of my fellow runners, we apologize for keeping this from you.
Before jumping right in, perhaps I can give a bit of context by way of an analogy. Running can easily be compared to driving a stick shift car, it's haaarrrrd to get going. When it's your first couple times getting out, it's so intimidating, you know it's going to be hard, but it's incredibly frustrating because you just want to be good at it right away. Even after you are seasoned, starting can be the hardest part. Once you get going, shifting to the next gear is easier and once you are clipping along, the shift from 4th to 5th is seamless. But how the heck do you get to 5th when starting and releasing the clutch is SO. DAMN. HARD?
I am going to tell you a huge secret that no one tells newbie runners. Hell no one told me for years! It wasn't until I myself was a seasoned runner and dealing with an injury that put me on the sidelines for months that a physiotherapist enlightened me.
Here it is. The first 10-15 min of running suck. Yup, they suck. They always suck. Your body doesn't want to be there, your muscles don't want to move, your lungs could care less about filling up with oxygen and your heart really would prefer to not work so hard. Here's the thing, it doesn't really get better (ok maybe minimally), but generally whether you are out for your first or second attempt at running or you have completed a number of 10km and half marathons (or more!) the first little bit is hard.
Here is some insight from someone who has been there...the run will get better. Seriously, I promise. Do your best to push past the first 15 minutes and you might find out why so many people love running.
Many newbie runners make the mistake of going out for a couple runs, pushing too hard out of the gate (think back to the analogy of driving a standard car - if you floor the gas and aren't strategic with the release of the clutch the car will stall and you won't be going anywhere). Running is much the same. A slow and steady start, giving your body the chance to warm up, your muscles to loosen up and your blood to start pumping a little faster throughout your body, will go a long way to pushing you past those critical 15 min.
I think this little hurdle is there to weed people out. It's true, not everyone loves running, and not everyone has to. However for those that want to give it a try and find it sooooo difficult, try, just see, if you can get through that critical 15 minute window and find the runners bliss that lays just on the other side of it. Before long you will likely hit your running stride, be able to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings and bask in the coveted runner's high afterwards.
That's it. Now you are in the club. You know the secret. Please share it widely and let's educate others who want be in the running club. We have lots of space and are very welcoming of newbies. If you are a seasoned runner, think back to when you first started, what were some hints or tips that you would've loved to have known then? Comment below and let's help some newbies are struggling to find their love of running.
Next week I will post a video on the FitCity facebook page which will show you a quick and easy trick on how you can take 2 minutes before your run to drastically cut down on the most challenging 15 minutes of any run. Go like the page now, so you don't miss it!