This article was published on June 23rd, 2014
There’s a reason that everyone keeps coming back to talking about running. There’s something very zen about being out in the wild, focused on one foot in front of the other, listening to your body as you move through space and time. But as running has increased in popularity, it seems like everyone has an opinion and a product that will help you become a better runner, from the latest app to the priciest shirt to the very best running gel.
The temptation to bail on it all, ignore everyone’s advice, and just hit the pavement is tempting. But there is some advice that is really worth heeding if you want to become a runner:
Before you spend money on anything running related, get the best shoes you can. Best doesn’t mean most expensive, but cheap shoes will wreck your legs, make you miserable, and convince you that you can’t run. When you decide to start running, go to a quality running-specific shoe store, where they will analyze everything about your run, from your gait to your pronation, and help you figure out the very best running shoes for your feet and your legs.
Your body needs fuel to run if you’re going to–well–run. And high quality nutrition to fuel your body. No one’s saying you have to live on whole-wheat pasta, but a marathon was never completed on beer and birthday cake.
You’re not going to run a marathon this month. And probably not next month, either. And that’s okay. Start slow, let your body and your muscles work up to the level of stamina and support that is required of them. There is absolutely no shame in walking, in fact, almost all marathon runners take walk breaks! Judging yourself against other people’s times and distances is going to bring you misery. Be proud of your body, your time, and your distance. Be proud that you’re doing it.
Don’t wait. The perfect time? It’s never going to happen. You’re never going to look up and say “Yes, this is the time when the world has chosen to have me run.” The world is full of tempting distractions and manufactured busyness. If you want to run, you’re going to have to skip the next episode of the reality show that everyone’s talking about, or skip the after work bar trip, or get the book that you really want to read in an audiobook. You need to make time for running.