Think running isn’t for you? Here are 5 tips for beginners from Turia Pitt.
If you have NO idea why some people choose to lace themselves into some sneakers and jog out in public WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE THEM, this is for you.
In my running program for Mums, I’ve helped HUNDREDS of complete and utter non-runners learn to make time for themselves, and build their confidence to become someone wh, yes, actually runs!
Below I’ve put together five of my best tips for beginners, including some of the mistakes I see people make when they first start out. If you don’t think you can run, I’d love you to give these a read and let me know what you think.
1: You’re going too fast!
Running is not really running, my friend. At least, not when you first start out.
I think most people assume that running means, y’know, a super fast, confident pace. But it’s not. A slow shuffle is perfect! So, GO SLOWER!
If you start to struggle and feel like stopping, go slower again. If this means you’re going so slow that a baby sloth could overtake you, that is perfectly fine!!
And if you find yourself thinking “Why am I bothering to run if I could walk faster?” Well, running and walking are two very different movement patterns. So by running (no matter how slow you are going), your body is learning the movement pattern for running. The more you do it, the better you’ll get! Slow and steady, my friend!
2: You’re being a dickhead to yourself.
Listen to what’s going on upstairs in your head when you’re running. Are you saying things to yourself like “Wow, I’m really proud of you mate. This is tough but you’re sticking to it”, “You’ve got this!”, and “Yes! Just one more lap to go!”
Or are you thinking sh*t like “You’re never going to get faster”, “This is embarrassing, what’s the point?”, “I bet that dog walker thinks I’m pathetic”, “I should have never stopped going to the gym last year” and “I’ve let myself go”??
Be honest. Which one sounds more like you?
If it’s the latter, you’re being a dickhead to yourself! In my running program, RUN with Turia, I share lots of strategies to shut that inner voice down.
But for now, start by being kinder to yourself. Notice when you’re inner mean girl comes out to play.
And remember, when you plant a sunflower seed, you don’t stomp on it the minute it starts sprouting tiny green fronds, yelling “That’s not a sunflower!” because it doesn’t look what you expect.
You water it, you give it sunlight, you care for it. And over time, that little sprout becomes a giant yellow flower.
Don’t expect to become some perfect, fast runner straight away, and don’t be a dickhead to yourself while you’re learning and growing and getting better.
3: You’ve brought your ego along for the ride
Here’s the thing. When you first start out (and even when you’ve been running for a while), you’re gonna be slow. And if you’re not, well, see point one: you probably should be!
That is perfectly OK! You’re doing something new. You have to give yourself permission to be a beginner! To have a go at not being “good” at something just yet. You are learning and growing and changing. This is a good thing!
So, leave your ego at home. You’re not running to put on a show for other people. You’re doing this for yourself. Take it at the pace YOU can go at.
Comparison is the thief of joy – we need to stop comparing ourselves to how we used to be and instead, benchmark from Day 1 and watch the improvements that follow
4: You haven’t warmed up properly
I know, warming up is boring. You just want to get to the running already! Because the sooner you start running, the sooner you’re done. I get it, I really do.
But warming up and activating your muscles properly BEFORE you start running will make it easier!
Inside RUN with Turia, we have some warm up videos and exercises from our women’s health physios that help fire up and activate the right muscles. Doing these will help prevent injury and encourage better results.
But if you need a simple routine to try now, just start by jogging lightly or walking for 5 minutes before you start running. It will help!
5: Don’t go it alone.
A mate, a group, a trainer, a coach – all of these things can be very helpful for those times when you just don’t want to go for a run. That’s why so many women have had success inside my program RUN with Turia – you get a whole community of women supporting you and holding you accountable (in a friendly way!)