- Nothing is harder than starting: Nothing. Deciding to go on the first run is one thing, actually doing it is another. For me, at least, the unknown is the scariest, but in this case, you just have to do it and get it done and then you know. For me, the most soothing thing was doing it in the park near my house, so I knew I could go home if I had to.
- Sometimes, you have to just stick with it: After that first run, when I felt like I was dying, I wasn't sure that I was going to continue because oh man, pain is horrible. Weirdly, it was my nan's hairdresser, who I happened to see two days after the first run, who said 'but if you give up, all that pain will have been for nothing and you'll have to do it again if you want to start again.' That really spurred me on to continue, and stayed with me even when it got really hard.
- All other runners are your friends: I'm serious about this. When you cross paths with another runner, it's just natural to smile at each other, and it feels very "yay us!" (But not in a gross way). It's gotten so that I smile at runners even when I'm not running, and I may have referred to all runners as my friends. All the time. It's a little bit weird.
- People smiling at you while you run is very encouraging: It's why I smile at runners, because maaaan, they are doing something hard. It feels like a tiny little reward anyone looks at you happily while you're running, even if they're probably smiling at something else, I don't know!
- Endorphins: It takes a few runs for the endorphins to really start (although I felt so pleased with myself the first time that I was preeeetty cheery) but maaaan, they are awesome. They can pretty much carry you through the day, and completely make you want to keep doing it.
- Week 4 is a killer: This is specifically about the couch to 5k programme, and shiiiit. Week 4 is so hard and will probably make you want to give up, endorphins or no. If you're doing it and week 4 is an asshole to you, just rest assured in the knowledge that it really does get easier and you'll never have to do week 4 again.
- Sports bras are really important: Unless you want to run around grasping at your breasts, you'll want a good sports bra. I'm not exaggerating when I say it's my most important and indispensable bit of running kit.
- The Nike Running App is very good: I've been fairly wary of Nike my whole life, so it irks me to recommend one of their products, but I did recently learn that they were instrumental in getting the women's marathon into the Olympics, so they get this shout out for their (free...) app. Once you're done with couch to 5k (if you even go that route) it's a really good way to track your runs, keep track of how you felt on each run, and other fun stats that will appeal if you're a bit of a nerd and like numbers. This is absolutely me.
- Sometimes you have it be told something you already know to really absorb it: This is true in all of life, I know. But here's my story: I finished the couch to 5k programme and it was like I forgot how to run completely. I had no stamina, I had to keep slowing to a walk... It was not good. I asked my housemates boyfriend (who is doing a phD in sports science, so is very handy in such situations) what I could do to improve my stamina, and he told me to go slower, for longer. Go slower. For longer. And I knew it, and I'd almost grasped it the few times I'd had really good runs, but I just needed to be told it that one morr time to really get it. Which reminds me...
- Find your pace, and stick to it: I just thought you might need to hear it too.
- Above all, enjoy it: There's really no point in doing exercise you don't enjoy, and this is no different. I'm jot going to say that running is always a pleasure, because it isn't, but I love it a lot more than I hate it, and that's what keeps me going. That and the endorphins, the glorious things.
So yeah. That's basically everything I've learnt about running from doing running. Sometimes it's the hardest thing in the world to get up and go outside and run, but sometimes there's nothing I'd rather be doing. It's still so insane to me that this is something I do, but there it is, and I love it.
Good for you! And I don't mean that in the patronizing way saying good for you kind of sounds even when you say it with the purist of intentions. :-/ Seriously, I always wished I could run, but I've got my mother's and my grandmother's and my great-grandmother's wretched piece of crap knees, so I'll always be a walker or a swimmer, either of which I should probably start doing more of ASAP. Glad you've found another hobby to love in addition to this reading thing, which really has no cardiovascular benefits. ;-DReplyDelete
Hahaha, aw, it doesn't sound that bad! And yes, thank you, thank you! I think I always wanted to be able to run but could never actually be bothered to do it, so now that I do, it's just ridiculous to me but also awesome. I literally don't even know who I am anymore! But in a good way. I think.Delete
I am seriously seriously thinking about starting running again now. I should really do it rather than just talking about how I'll do it at some point!! Especially now that I don't have any of the excuses that I've been using not to run for the past month or so! I'm going to try starting on Wednesday morning (because it's supposed to be rainy tomorrow), and if I don't do it then you have my permission to come to Japan and take away my books until I actually do it!!!ReplyDelete
Was it the NHS app that you used for the couch to 5k thing?? :) And I must make a note to remember the thing about carrying on because if you stop then you'll have to go right to the start where all the pain is again!
HAVE YOU STARTED YET?!?!?!?!?!?! (I kind of don't want you to have because then I get to go to Japan!!) It's so hilarious to me that since I've been running, I've made about 5 people also start the couch to 5k programme! I'm pretty impressed with myself, tbh!Delete
I started using the NHS podcast then downloaded an app (Get Running) which was only ok. So basically I don't really think the actual app itself matters so much as just going out there and doing iiiiiiiit. Which hopefully you have done!
I DID!!! I'm going again tomorrow! The first day was actually much easier than I remembered it being, I think mostly thanks to the fact that I've been making much more effort to walk recently and I live in a really hilly area which has built up my leg muscles a bit more than they were when I tried previously.Delete
Plus I get to run in the park near my house which is gorgeous!
I ended up getting the NHS app, because then I can have my own music and it doesn't feature an overly enthusiastic American person telling me to reach for my dreams or whatever.
Sorry you don't get to come to Japan, although you could just come anyway! Hehe.
Oh so, have you started running or something?ReplyDelete
But seriously, GOOD FOR YOU for starting running and sticking with it. I am super impressed.
Oh, do I mention this a lot? TOO BAD I LOVE IT!Delete
Now to make you run...
I was reading something about a zombie running app. Part of me is tempted to try it and another part of me thinks if I try I will have a heart attack.Delete
Running isn't something I'll ever be able to actually do, but I still think this is a good post. It makes running sound... not fun, exactly, but doable. I'm impressed you've stuck with it too - I can almost sense your enthusiasm dribbling from this post :)ReplyDelete
But but but Hanna, I thought *I'd* never be able to run but I do (not very fast, I readily admit) and and it's kind of awesome. I'm glad I've made it sound not fun but doable, because that has pretty much been my experience of it- I actually like the act of running more the more I do it, but definitely in the beginning it's not at all fun. Although, endorphins, they are awesome.Delete
"But if you give up, all that pain will have been for nothing and you'll have to do it again if you want to start again."ReplyDelete
I love that so much. And as a lapsed runner who made it up to the half-marathon point and then promptly failed to lace up my shoes for over six months, I can say that the pain of starting it back up again has thus far been enough to scare me off even short runs lately... so definitely better just to not stop in the first place.
Seriouslyyyy, that's my biggest fear! If there's one major thing that keeps me going, it's that I don't ever want to not be able to do it again, if that makes sense. Not that I'm anywhere near half marathon level (well done for THAT, by the way!) but I'm so much better than I was like 3 months ago, because then I couldn't even run, like, at all. So yeah.Delete
I'm not sure I could even eek out 2 miles at the moment, honestly. And I miss it, but I'm just one excuse after another on not starting back up again...Delete
Your running makes me happy!!! :-D And makes me really, really miss doing it. I haven't gone for a run in like two weeks, which just sucks (and haven't been to the gym in about a month, which sucks worse). Stupid work gets in the way... going in at 5 am, no matter what time I get home (anywhere from 5 to 8 at night), I'm usually too beat to run. And I'd rather read, and just UGH. I'm doing a 5k next week and I'm pretty sure I'm going to suck at it.ReplyDelete
So thanks for the reminder that running actually is pretty awesome and usually makes me feel good. Definitely going for a run tomorrow :) and hopefully I can get back to making it a habit.