I used to hate running. When I was a high school swimmer, we would use running to cross train and we were expected to run for 15 minutes. In a nutshell, those required 15 minutes were intensely miserable for me. I was not a runner and never expected to call myself a runner. It took me lots of mental focus and effort to learn how to become a runner. Now that I run by choice and thoroughly enjoy my running time, I wear that title proudly.
I became a runner by default due to one of our monthly budgeting sessions. We both had a monthly gym membership that wasn’t fitting into our budget due to some unforeseen expenses. Exercise is a staple for this mama, and running outside is free! So I became a runner (begrudgingly).
If you are new to running, wanting to become a runner, or a busy mom thinking you do not have time to exercise, I have been there. If you want to be a runner, be one! Here are some of my favorite ways to jump into your running journey and enjoy it along the way.
5 Steps To Becoming A Runner (Even If You Hate Running)
- Go to a running store to have your feet measured for running shoes and have your “run” style analyzed. When I first started running, I ran in whatever sneakers I owned (most likely several years old.) I took the advice of a running friend and went into a local running store to check out the running shoes. I was BLOWN AWAY by what I learned about how I run and what running shoes conform best to my feet. When I walked out I felt like my feet were floating on pillows, and I had a new sense of running form thanks to their expertise that I would have never learned on my own. Seriously, it is so worth it. I also found the sneakers I wanted cheaper on Amazon, so you do not have to buy in the store. But the intel is crucial.
- Setup your fitness power boost with a solid music plan. Get a pair of bluetooth headphones with a phone armband. I recommend these bluetooth headphones that last for a long time and will not break the bank. I have had them for over 6 years and they are still going strong. Most importantly, create a playlist specifically for running. Mine features a lot of early 2000’s pop music, Rihanna, and Missy Elliot.
- Create a running plan for YOURSELF. When I first attempted to become a runner I did not have an event or training plan. I just started running. This turned out to be a big mistake when I wanted to quit less than a mile in every time, and ran without any joy for several months. Without a plan and small goals tailored to your body, every run will feel hard. Running will not get easier or enjoyable, because your body will struggle to gain a sense of running muscle memory. Even if your goal is to run one mile 3 times a week a solid plan will lead to gaining confidence and endurance over time. It does not matter if you are training for a 5K, a marathon, or a run around your block. Set up manageable goals and build them into your routine.
- Love your runner soul. The key to becoming a runner is not speed, nor distance, but consistency. It is hard to do anything once in a while and become a master in that skill. You do not need to run everyday but you do need to run consistently within your schedule to train your body and mind. For me, I know weekends are easier because working full time often means leaving for and returning from work both in the dark. I usually build a running plan involving a long run on Sunday and shorter runs Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
- The one thing that worked best for me in the early stages of running was signing up for a race. I actually signed up for a half marathon as my first race because I had never run a race before and did not know what I was getting myself into. An event on your calendar that you paid for is a great incentive to keep your momentum and also helps with building your running plan since you have a milestone to work backwards from. Sign up for a fun holiday 5k, a short trail race, or a significant race in your hometown. Work for that medal, and have fun crossing the finish line!
There are so many little ways you can become a runner if its something you want to do. To all my mama runners and non-runners, I am running my next race for you!