Yesterday I watched a little clip on Instagram, where someone was shouting at runners from her house “Are you in danger?” – “Why are you running?” – “Is someone chasing you?”
It made me smile because sometimes it’s tough to describe why we run at times or the high of a good run, the ability for something so simple to change how we feel about our entire day. I often say that running for me is an escape, not just from my head, but from the previous boundaries I set myself physically. I treat each run as a mini success, regardless of if I had to stop and walk. Or if I couldn’t hold a half-decent pace or if I didn’t reach the mileage I’d set myself. Because, it’s simple, I got out and ran.
There are so many pieces of advice I can give a new runner, such as buy the right trainers for you, invest in a good sports bra and remember your sports bra shouldn’t celebrate its birthday. Please don’t wear cotton socks, take it slowly, keep a log on your distance, and enjoy each step. But, chances are you’ve heard it all before?
What I would say, is find your WHY – The reason that keeps you lacing up again, even if it changes, the impact should still be the same. Sometimes I just go out, so that I can tick the “I’ve ran” box in my head and feel a rush of internal smugness. Of because I need to wake up ready for the day, or unwind after the working day, there’s no wrong or right time to run.
There is always going to be someone better than you, and you need to get over that, or you’ll completely ruin the whole experience for yourself. There’s absolutely no point using someone else as a measuring stick if you want to measure progress, make it You Vs You. It’s annoying that Sally on Instagram has been running 6 weeks and is ready running a 47 minute 10km, I get it, but Sally is not you and that’s your superpower.
The important thing about running is that it’s personal, there’s enough trainers, enough time and enough space for us all to take part. If I sat and actually compared myself to my peers, it’s likely I’d actually never feel good enough to run another mile at all. So, I celebrate them and I act as a one woman cheerleader for me too. It might feel like I’m giving this a lot of coverage, yet my reasoning is simple, I’m tired of people saying they are “Not good enough” to join in. I almost want to yell, “Where have you obtained that information, its Park Run and not a qualifying time for Boston Marathon”. I see you, and I think you’re great, but you need to think you’re great too.
What’s brilliant about running is the fact you don’t really need much in the way of “stuff”. For example, you can use a program on your phone instead of a fancy sports watch. You should invest in some good trainers, but again they don’t need to be the 2020 model, just make sure they support you. Places like eBay are amazing for unworn sportswear and rock bottom prices, but I try to discourage purchasing from companies who exploit workers. However, sometimes it’s absolutely impossible to avoid these stores, and if it gives you the confidence to go out and move? Go for it.
Right now, the simple act of going for a run or a walk, feels like more of a pleasure than ever before and I sincerely hope that all the people who have started running, continue. You’ve got this!