Five tips for new and unmotivated runners

dawnWhiteHave you decided to get fit this summer? Is running on your agenda today? There are few things more fulfilling than setting a goal and reaching it. Whether you are running your first mile, first 5K, or first marathon, we all can use some sound advice. If you are serious about your running, check out these helpful tips:

  • One of the most important pieces of equipment you can purchase is a good pair of running shoes. A specialty running store will become your new best friend. Not only can they help you find the right shoe for your foot type, but they are also there to give advice on training and other running questions you have. Once you invest in a good pair of shoes, lace up and go for a run.
  • Gradually build up your distance. Your body needs time to adjust to this new activity and if you push too hard too soon, it will rebel. Have you ever experienced shin splints or knee pain? A common problem among new runners is doing too much too soon. Start out running 15 minutes and walking 15 minutes a few times a week and increase slowly.
  • If you have trouble motivating yourself to run, consider joining a local group run. Your specialty running store has a wealth of knowledge and knows the local running groups and clubs in the area. Yes, you will be nervous…everyone is nervous about joining a group run for fear they will be the slowest and no one will run with them. Once you face your fear and arrive at the group run, introduce yourself to someone and ask if anyone there is running your pace. Runners are generally a friendly bunch and enjoy seeing others succeed.
  • Do not compare yourself to others. All runners are at different points along their running journey and the key is to keep yourself motivated and be encouraging to others. Unless you are Usain Bolt, there will always be someone faster than you…fast is relative anyway, so run your pace and do not worry about others. At the end of the race, we all cross the same finish line.
  • Set personal goals and work hard to reach them. Celebrate your accomplishments and remember the hard work you put in to finish!
  • John Bingham says, “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” Now get out there and go for a run!

Dawn White is a sales associate and certified running coach with Black Dog Running Company in Myrtle Beach and is a member of the Grand Strand Running Club.

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