How to start running today?
I started running while I was a child.
Haha..jokes apart, I started to run 3.5 years ago with an intent. My intent was to get back in shape at the age when you are having kids, you are married and you have a job to sit through the day for your livelihood.
I had not run before. Though I used to frequent gymnasium as and when I felt like doing so, but that was so erratic. I would go for few days like I was preparing for a war. And then, I would go into hibernation as if the long winters have arrived.
But, on Dec 31, 2017, when the whole world was preparing for the late night party, I was preparing myself for going to bed. And that decision has turned out to be historic. I have run over 5000 kms in these 3.5 years.
But how did it all happen?
Was it that I was gifted to run?
Was I a sports person ever since my childhood?
None of the above questions would go in my favour. I did not know if I was a gifted runner until I started to run. And through troubles and tribulations suffering pangs of self-doubt over and over again, I was able to reach the belief that Yes! I had it in me on the fateful day of 19th January 2020.
On this fateful day, I ran my first full marathon. I hope you know that a full marathon is 42.195 kms of pure running. I ran though the major landmarks of Mumbai as a privileged citizen of India. The whole traffic was blocked and the runners were given their freedom to own the Mumbai-Worli Sea link for few hours.
So, what began as a new year resolution to undertake a weight reduction exercise turned into a full fledged passion in 2 years.
I have in these years run multiple marathons, half-marathons and 10 Ks. And almost every day I run a morning 5 K in 30 minutes. Today, I feel that I was born to run!
But it took me a solid 2 years to build that belief in me.
You too can run. And anyone can run. There are no strings attached. And you can be a passionate runner like me if you are looking for a great camaraderie with running for life.
Running has turned out to be my loyal companion that pulled me out of the dungeons of depression and deep work related stresses. By running, I have found my health and happiness.
So much so that running a marathon is one of the prescriptions given in the book, “The How of Happiness”. Happiness and marathon have a deep correlation. And therefore, I have found not just a way to keep my body fit but a way to keep my mind and the spirits in top shape.
Running has soooo many benefits. And being in good BMI and good looks are just few of the by products. The real crux of running is the amazing benefits it gives to our brain health and the mental stamina you develop.
So, my dear where do you begin as a beginner in running?
I can say do this or do that. I can hand you a list of do’s and dont’s. And I can even draw a running schedule for you.
But to be frank with you, nothing of these really works for a beginner!
SO, WHAT WILL REALLY WORK?
If you have the dream of becoming a life long runner, then start with walking.
Walking is the best way to become a runner.
My running journey started from walking a few yards every day. Then, I moved out and walked up to the nearby park for months.
In the process of walking, you warm up your mind and body for the long haul of running in the future. Walking gets your toes, ankles, feet, knees, thighs, calfs and hips in proper shape. The process of walking gives you the balance in your posture. It helps you to make uniform movements that are basic to strides and cadence for running.
SET A ROUTINE FOR YOUR WALKING/RUNING
To be a lifelong runner means you are cultivating it as a habit. A habit is something that you do almost every day. Repeatedly. Again and again.
So, you don’t need to push yourself. You come to a stage one day, where you simple sail in the direction of the wind. Your running is automated and planted in your subconscious mind like how it is for you to get up in the morning and brush your teeth.
HAVE A PERSONAL ACOCUNTABILITY PARTNER
While I started to run, I was not sure how I would manage my daily runs. All I wanted was to keep running. So, getting into the habit of running was the challenge that I figured out. So, I guess it was a 7th or 8th day of January 2018, I sat down and did some calculations.
And I arrived at the goal of running a total distance of 1800 Kms. I broke it down to monthly targets and those monthly targets into daily targets. I was still not sure if this would ever work for me being a non runner all my life since then.
But the vibe I got by half running and half walking ( for a total of 2 kms with panting) for the first 7 days was telling me that I was set for something concrete this time in my life. I had enough of making the fool out of myself. This time, I did not wanted to hear the people who told me you can’t.
I WAS SET TO LISTEN TO MY VOICE ! RUN!
Setting the goal and creating a daily target helped me to bring in the accountability that I had always lacked in my life before.
And to to establish the habit of running daily, I kept a journal!
JOURNAL YOUR WALKS/RUNS
It is worth million dollars. The habit of putting things to writing is SO MUCH important that I would call it a MILLION DOLLAR HABIT. I picked up a note book and started to note down my time and distance I ran/walked daily.
Writing down the runs, and seeing it pile up over time led to the BIG PARADIGM SHIFT in my life. I began to get committed to the process of running. These small numbers when started to add up started to blow me off my feet.
Single digit runs summed up to double digits in days. Double digits summed up to turn into hundreds and so on. And then the day came when I was running the last mile of my 1800 kms of running! OMG!
USE APPS/S-WATCH/ or just the milestones on the road
When I began as a hobbyist runner, I had no idea about the running world and the kind of gadgets that I use today for running and the analysis of my runs.
So, I used the milestones to count my kilometres. And it worked perfectly well for me. Now, I am in thee habit of using SMART WATCHES FOR TRACKING MY RUNS. My personal favourite is GARMIN FORERUNNER 35.(Simply because this is all I can afford at the moment! hehe)…but hey, GARMIN is an awesome brand. And no matter what designs and feature you want, my advice would be, GO FOR GARMIN!!
Nevertheless, nothing should stop you from having the joy of running.
And last but not the least to remember as a beginner, “RUN FOR YOURSELF, RUN FOR YOUR OWN JOY AND HAPPINESS. Not for prove anything anything to anyone.”
Because I know you are the child of GOD…gifted and celebrated!!
Please do let me know in the comments below what help you need from my blog to help you as a runner.