Running Distance

Filed under :Exercise, Run Club

I always believed that running as a physical activity is mainly a “mental” sport (I would say 90% mental while 10% is physical). What I mean by this is that if you can: sustain your mental endurance, avoid getting bored and know how to push yourself – running will come easy to you.

For a person that never tried running before (besides gym class or a treadmill) the most challenging thing is to start. When you try to run for the first time; your distance might be short, you might not know the right pacing (to sustain your run for a long distance). This may get some people frustrated, people tend to avoid frustrating things, therefore decide not to do it again. After all, you should not give up! It’s ok to start for only a short distance, with small strides, slowly – see where your comfort zone is, learn your body. Once you know the right pacing for you, you can increase your distance (again gradually). Keep your runs consistent, make a schedule for the days ahead (that way you are more likely to follow it), keep a running log, and map your miles.

Once you overcome all the obvious obstacles and stop the excuses you will actually start enjoying it. You will begin feeling the joy of accomplishment, the great feeling of improvement, and of course the chemical and physical consequences of your body while running and the “after high”.

I did this all upside down. I was very physically active in all different kinds of activities from cycling to martial arts, but I avoided running. I was basically scared of it, due to some past experiences in gym classes. Then last summer I ran my first 10K race! Without any training or running experience – that was the day I fell in love with running! I was forced to do it, to finish the race, and when I was done, the feeling was amazing.

Whether your goal is to lose weight, get in a better shape, or reduce stress – running will get you there. Here are some tips from my own running experience: stay consistent with your training, get some good music on your MP3 player, keep changing your running paths to keep it interesting, don’t focus on “running” while running, find something fun or smart to think about, keep yourself motivated by telling yourself how good it will feel after the run, fuel your body right and keep hydrated, and sign up for a short (5K) or longer (10K) race which will keep you motivated.