How to become a better runner

  1. Decide
    that you want to try jogging. Don’t over think it. You can always go back to walking tomorrow if you don’t like it.
  2. Focus
    on the reasons why you want to become a runner or jogger. Some good reasons: improve your cholesterol, improve your body shape, lose weight, feel better, gain more energy for daily life, etc. Whatever your motivations are, write them down and post them where you will see them every day. This will be very helpful on the days that you don’t feel like running.
  3. Fail Proof-It
    Create a time in your schedule when you’ll be sure to have the ability to do this. For me it means mornings. If I wait until later in the day, then my energy is lower not to mention all the other activities competing for my attention.
  4. Get ok with your doctor
    Have an annual checkup where they check your heart. Don’t skip this part. You don’t want to have a heart attack when you’re trying to become healthy. Find out what is an OK level of exercise for you. And while you’re at it, get your cholesterol tested so that in 4-6 months you can go back and see the wonderful improvements you will have made!
  5. Just do it!
    Don’t wait to feel energy or to feel like you’re in the mood. Just put on your sneakers, bring your mp3 player (or not), and go!
  6. Start Slow
    Try very slow. Run at whatever pace that allows you to go the farthest distance possible. On day one, maybe this will only be a quarter or half mile. That’s totally OK. You will be so much more likely to stick with it if you start small and build a little bit each day.
  7. Distance
    Go as far as you can comfortably go and then turn around. Don’t pay too much attention to your watch. If you need to walk a little and then start jogging again, do that, but if you can keep going slowly, that’s what you should strive for.
  8. Increase distance each day
    Each day, pick a new landmark that is past where you went the day before. Use that as your turnaround point. And then the next day, go yet a little further.
  9. Stretch after exercise
    Take 10 – 15 minutes after jogging to stretch. Stretch your calves, hamstrings, quads, hips, and upper body too.
  10. Rest your body
    Take at least one day off per week. Eat a super healthy diet that gives you the most energy while helping you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Get enough sleep each night so that your body can make the repairs and build the tissues that will make you stronger tomorrow.
  11. Buddy up for support
    Find someone to run with or join a running group.
  12. Advise for tough days
    There will be days where you really don’t want to run. Unless you’ve got an illness or an injury, do this: make a deal with yourself that you will run for at least 5 minutes. That’s about how long it takes for the endorphins to kick in. Once they do, it will be much easier to continue. And of course when you’re done with your run, you will feel so glad you did it!
  13. Remember
    • Repeat simple positive affirmations in your head even when they feel like they are not true. Over time they will become true. Some examples:
    • I can do this!
    • Everyday I get better at this!
    • Running becomes easier for me each day.
    • This is so healthy.
    • My body is becoming stronger with each step.
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How to become a better runner