1. Decide to Start and Start today.
I have been on my running journey for almost a year now. I have enjoyed every moment of it. But the first step in my running journey was starting to run. So if you want to run, then start today. You will not regret it. I am not saying that it will be easy but you will be rewarded.
A good laugh and a long run are the two best cures for anything. —Unknown
My first run in some months was so hard but rewarding.
2. Set a Goal and stick to it.
Setting a goal will help you with your running journey. I started my running journey on the 23 September 2017 with the goal to run Comrades 2018. This was a long shot, but a worthy try none the less. I didn’t qualify for the 2018 Comrades marathon, the goal started my running journey. Set your goal, whether it is to run your first 5km, 10km or even a marathon, no dream is too big to achieve.
“That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.” – Kara Goucher, Olympic long-distance runner
I didn’t qualify for Comrades but I still achieved something that for a long time of my life thought was impossible. I ran my first Ultra Marathon on the 21 April 2018. My time wasn’t the best, but I finished and on this run, I managed to take off 50 minutes off my personal best on a marathon. Anything is possible.
3. Invest in GOOD running Shoes and Apparel.
One thing I didn’t know when I started running is what to run in, I always thought cotton was great, but I learned later that it absorbs the moisture and contributes to chaffing. Having the correct running shoes, fitted for your running style will prevent injury. There is nothing like blisters and off toenails to make you reconsider. Recommended shoe size is 1 size bigger. Socks it is always good to get something that doesn’t have the word cotton in it. And well, my personal recommendation, join a running club and invest in the club kit not only will you be part of a team, but you will also get a running vest that you run every race in, this will make your life easier than trying to decide what to wear on race day. You can also sew your annual license on it and then you only have to pin your race number on your vest.
4. Join a Running Club/Group
Choosing a running club is something you need to look into carefully, there is so many of them and each one adds its own value. On Athletics South Africa’s website, you can find a list of running clubs. I would recommend going to the time trials of running clubs in your area to see if you fit in with a group before you join as some of them are costly and once you join and get a number you will need to resign from your club before you can join another one.
5. Be Consistent
Being consistent is something that I am struggling with due to a lot on my plate. But I am working on being more consistent. Consistency will help you to get stronger quicker and reach your goals better, I would recommend a nice training plan, there are lots available online.