Updated: Nov 15, 2021
How can I start running from zero? How can I motivate myself to go out and run?
I started properly running at age 19. Before I was a swimmer, I danced... but running was a sport that I never touched. And honestly, I found it so difficult to breath and move my body in that way.
On the other hand, I was conscious of the benefits from running. I was preparing for a yearly physical test to work as lifeguard on the beach, and running was key to finish faster than anyone else. Additionally, cardio workout brings so many benefits like strengthening our heart muscle and boosting our energies, that it helped me to get a bit more motivation to start moving those legs :-)
However, health benefits may not be enough for you to start running. You may struggle mentally, or you may not like struggling physically neither.. Either ways, I would like to share with you some tips that can help you to start running.
Start with a 5 minutes run
It may sound like too easy... but if you have never run before, 5 mins can feel like an eternity. In order to avoid demotivating or muscle exhaustion, start slow. It is not worth to run 20 min if after you will spend a week with muscle ache. Like in any other sport, your muscles and joints need to adjust to the practice... hence, be mindful not to overdo.
Find a route that feels well
Having a nice route in your neighborhood or workplace can help motivating yourself to go out and run. The best part about running is that it can be a fast workout. Swimming for example requires the additional effort of going to the pool, changing clothes, showering and coming back home. Running instead, you just gear up at home and go out! If you live in an area without nature, see if there is a road that you can just follow.
Notice the best time throughout the day to go out and sweat
Throughout my whole life doing sports and training different disciplines, I saw that day time is KEY. If I say that I will go swimming in the evening, I won't go. If I say I will go to the gym after work and first I stop at home, I won't work. Why? because we are naturally lazy! if you allow your body to be sedentary, you are done for few days or weeks!
Depending on your private and professional life, find that time of the day that you know it can work running. I have colleagues going at lunch time for example... even if I tried it, it didn't work with me. Either I go early in the morning or in the afternoon...
Put Post-its for an extra motivation
Make notes to yourself to motivate you to run. The goal is to set reminders that you need to move your body and bring it to cardio workout. You can also print out a calendar and mark the days you go running. When you see that it has been a while since the last run, your mind will start to feel guilty. This will give you an extra kick to get out and run!
Once you have been running for few days, the mind & body will automatically ask you to go out and sweat. From suffering you will shift to enjoy the run and feeling happier afterwards.
I tell you, from hating to run I ended up running half marathons :-) And even if nowadays I don't run long distances anymore, it feels amazing to go out and bring the heart rate to the highest point. Plus it boosts positively your mood...!
*Important side notes*
If you feel physical pain when running or after, check the root cause (ideally with a doctor). It could be that you don't step correctly and this creates inflammation in different parts. It is also very important to wear good running shoes.
Remember, step by step. It is better to start gradually than go on fire with a 10k run :-)