First of all, let’s agree no one is born Usain Bolt! Anyone who begins the adventure of running, needs to suffer at the beginning. I am writing ‘everyone’ because yes, anyone can run, even if you don’t believe it right now.
A year ago I was only running when a train was almost leaving the platform from in front of my nose. I was never crazy about this form of activity and I always associated it with shortness of breath and a blur before my eyes. I never imagined that I would ever be able to defeat even a half-hour run. However I succeeded, even better than I thought…
I returned to run for good last month when I caught the bug to exercise. This happened after about three months of very irregular, casual training. With the intention of checking my running capabilities, I hesitated for a few weeks, but was always afraid that I just won’t be able to make it. Eventually my curiosity and determination prevailed and I so proudly ventured on my first run.
I started by checking my potential, which simply means going out without much debating, without any equipment which measured the length of the route and time, with music in the ears – I ran out and my first run lasted about seven minutes… I did not give up so easily, neither did I get discouraged right away, I knew that to see effects you have to earn it, as in everything in life. And it only got better!
The effects appeared quickly. So quickly that I myself was amazed by them. The person who started running a few minutes, ending in shortness of breath, less than a month later was able to travel almost 11 km! Is it possible? Of course it is! See for yourself…
How did this happen? Simply put, I was running, and was very stubborn. I did not put together a plan of any routes, I did not plan it in advance, when I run or how much. I did not use any ready-made plans available on the Internet en masse, because I am not their fan. I liked running so much that I left the house at least every two days. I was running on intuition, knowing how much I can give of myself, and when to stop. Of course, that was hard, the effort was great, but I tried to push myself further ahead, to constantly exceed my limits. More than once I wanted to stop and say that’s enough, what am I doing to myself?! However, my stubborn soul hasn’t allowed me to! Oh, how glad I am that I have these stubborn genes!
After time, the application – Endomondo was of big help, which is currently my favorite smartphone app. I watch the traveled route after each run and see how to increase my distance and how to improve the time. There is nothing better in the world, to see even the smallest improvement! It’s just incredibly motivating! Of course, there are many types of applications like this out there, but Endomondo performs best for me and is suitable not only for running.
What else helped me? Music, great deliverance in times of crisis. I can not imagine running without music! If I run alone, of course. Typically when I run I choose songs that I do not normally listen to, even though sometimes I fall from one extreme to another. I like energetic songs, giving a kick during the run, but sometimes I get attacked by my mind which gives me time to think, and then I listen to everything close to heart which is meaningful, providing a good backdrop for reflection.
Appropriate shoes and running clothes. As for girls – a good sports bra for running is an absolute basis, and refers to any physical activity! Girls, if you do not have this, march to the sports store! It is a much more important piece of equipment, than running shoes, although these are also important. I first started my running adventure in footwear that was strictly not meant for that – my bad! Well-chosen shoes not only provide more comfort when running, but also protect against injuries (which you can easily catch!), and prevent the deepening of those already acquired. Currently, there are many stores that offer specialized studies that allow for the most accurate check of the foot and shoe selection of the best, most appropriate for each of us. I do not recommend to buy your first pair without any research. You can easily get lost, lose your head in the colours, and other goodies, forgetting that the shoes are primarily used for running, and not looking #tumblr!
What else? If you’re venturing out on your first run, it is important to properly adjust to it. Do not expect that it would be easy and colorful, that you will fly like after drinking a RedBull. Do not assume that you will boast a life record (for that, of course, the right time will come!). Do everything slowly and with that in mind. Do not accuse yourself that you did not do your best, if at the beginning, you will return home after a few minutes (as I did). At that time – think that you ran, and you’re trying to improve – while a thousand others are sitting on the couch watching TV (probably with a packet of biscuits at hand). Feel proud that you are doing something! And enjoy it! Nothing clears the mind like running outdoors.
The food before the run, is also important. For a start it is worth mentioning that it is better not to run immediately after eating! You will feel uncomfortable, and that’s not the point. For me, it’s the best to run 2 – 3 hours after bigger and more hardy meal, e.g. breakfast, lunch. You can also eat snacks, half an hour before, if you feel hunger coming, or simply if you lack energy. What can you eat then? Even a banana! Rice cakes with peanut butter! I might write about this topic more in the future!
Do not think, do not assume anything in advance, do not set unrealistic goals, do not worry that you think you can’t do it… just run. Enjoy it as you can. And from day to day you will be better. Do you not believe me? See my screenshots from my app! – this is the explanation in itself!