Hello Running with Diapers readers! My name is Kim and I blog over at BusyBod.
Since Haley is off traveling, she kindly offered to let me guest post, so I’ll do my best in her absence.
If you’re a regular reader, you’re probably already a runner, but not me. I’ve spent my whole life hating running. I love fitness and love being active, but running has always been my nemesis. For the last few months though, I’ve completely changed my approach to running, and these days I kind of actually like it (gasp!), something I never thought would be possible. This post is all about what I was doing wrong and how I fixed it, which I hope will help others new to running or struggling to love it.
1. Learn about running.
Don’t just throw on some sneakers and head out to run. When I used to run, I put zero thought into. It’s running, how complicated can it be right? It just takes practice! Wrong. It does take practice, but you have to have some clue about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Unless you are a natural runner (like my husband) you WILL get frustrated. Why? Because you won’t understand tip #2.
2. Work on distance and pace separately.
The point of running is to go as far as you can as fast as you can, right? So I would head out to run trying to do just that. For me, this was a complete disaster. I’d end up wheezing after a mile and ready to pass out after two. I never went more than 5 (and for that I had to take a break halfway), despite being very fit.
If you learn about running and the different types of runs (tip #1), you’ll learn what it took me literally years to learn: do speed work and long runs separately to build speed and distance over time. On long runs, slow down and go far, don’t worry about your pace. On short runs (or intervals or whatever you are doing) cut the distance WAY
down and work on speed.
This may sound obvious but it literally changed my life! In May, on my first long run, I made it five miles for the first time in years. In July I ran ten, something I never thought I could do in a million years.
3. It’s ok to be slow.
I’m not very fast. I don’t like it, but that’s life, and accepting that has helped me embrace running much more. I used to see posts from other runners talking about their 15 mile runs with sub-8:00 minute miles and get discouraged. I used to come home from runs angry and disappointed. I was convinced that not being able to run seven minute
miles meant I was not a “real” runner.
This kind of thinking is silly. Do you run? Then you’re a runner.
I get faster, but I’ll probably never be really fast. That’s just how my body is. I can lift heavy weights and do HIITs, it’s
just what I’m better at. Nobody’s perfect. Don’t let yourself treat yourself with that kind of negativity. Embrace your slow! You can always come run with me 🙂
4. Be patient and consistent.
Every run will not be your best. It took me weeks and weeks to get to from eight miles to nine in my long run. I had a cramp every run, my pace was slower, and I felt awful. Then, finally, I struggled my way through a full nine (with a short break). The very next week, I ran ten miles and took almost a minute off my pace. It was amazing!
It comes in spurts, but you will get better if you stick with it. As proof, check out how my pace improved over the last month and a half.
The first time I ran six miles in May, it was more like 11:30/12:00 (I wasn’t logging then).
The pace will come, don’t stress about it, just get started and be patient.
If you’ve been struggling with running, I hope this helps! Thanks for reading 🙂