How to start running
Running is rewarding. The health benefits are immense. Even though we may know the health benefits are amazing, it can be hard to start. Here are some practical tips to get you going.
Written by Tori West, Australian Champion Heptathlete
My name is Tori West. I am an Australian Champion Heptathlete and currently training to qualify and compete at the 2021 Olympics.
The heptathlon is the most grueling track and field event comprising of 7 disciplines over two days – 100mh, High Jump, Shot Put, 200m, Long Jump, Javelin & 800m. The training is tough. Very tough.
As an elite athlete, you might think running came easy. It didn’t. When I first started serious heptathlon training, running over 200m was a struggle. I had to work for it. At one stage I could barely run for 5 minutes without feeling like my lungs were going to explode. But I persevered.
Anything worthwhile takes work. And that’s my attitude to running.
At the beginning of my heptathlon journey, the 800m was my worst event. I struggled with endurance events as a power athlete. But I worked at it and stayed consistent. And now I can truly say I am addicted to running. And this year won the 800m at the Heptathlon National Titles.
Never despise the day of humble beginnings
Here are my top tips to begin your journey and make running a lifestyle.
Attitude = Altitude
Running hurts. There is no way around it. Perseverance is hard. Before you start running you need to accept this is not easy. But nothing worthwhile is easy. And when you overcome, your body not only experiences the benefits but you mentally become more resilient.
Patience is not defined as waiting. Patience is defined as waiting with a good attitude.
Building endurance takes time. Be patient.
Set a goal
Before pursuing anything, you need a target. There needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel. As mentioned earlier, running isn’t easy. It hurts at times and sometimes there are sessions where you just don’t quite have the motivation to train.
Knowing your goal and keeping it at the forefront of your mind can help get you through the pain. Not only this, once you reach your goal, the feeling of accomplishment will not only be satisfying, but addictive.
Find a squad or community to run with
The benefits of a community cannot be understated. There are plenty of running squads around North Queensland you can train with. There might also be people in your circle interested in undertaking this running journey with you. Having someone there to not only push you but keep you accountable will help you reach your goal and make the process more enjoyable.
When you first begin running, you may feel slow or even too sore to run. The secret to running training is being consistent. Even if you don’t quite run the time you want, what matters is you banked the session and built some load into your legs. Be consistent. Consistency leads to results.
Rome was not built in a day. You have to be real with yourself when you first start. You may not be able to run 5km yet, but your can run 2km. So run 2km, and build your runs progressively. Rushing the process can lead to burnout and worse… Injuries. Stay healthy and be progressive. A good coach program can help guide you.
Make it a lifestyle
The true and most fulfilling benefit of running is when it becomes your lifestyle. Run for the goal to make this apart of your lifestyle. Build it into your daily routine or as a way to mediate stress. Running is truly rewarding. You can do it no matter where you are in the world.
I hope these tips help and put the process into a healthy perspective.
And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to my athlete profile on Instagram and Facebook.
Also, if you are looking for beginner to advanced running programs, my coach Eric Brown has a website where you can purchase programs and also trial a free two week program.