When I started running, I knew nothing about it. I just wanted to get fitter and it was a convenient option to try running.
What do you need to start running? To get out of the door and grab some sports shoes! Ohh, and of course, a desire!
So this is how my journey started around 12 years ago. Along the way, I learned so much about running. In the beginning, I was quite bad at it. Like really bad. At my first national championship, I finished 16th out of 18th girls. But thanks to the amazing people around me, I was able to explore running and become good at it to the level I never knew was possible for myself.
For this reason, I would love to share with you things that no one tells you about running when you are a newbie.
1. You may feel like you hate running at the beginning
When you start running, you imagine it will feel nice and smooth, like the way those runners look when they run in such a good rhythm. This is definitely not the case, especially when you start running for the first time.
You will most likely feel out of breath within five minutes and soon enough you may start to wonder why you even decided to run. Until somehow you convince yourself to do it again and you find out that it already feels much better compared to last time. What magic! You may even try again tomorrow. Don’t worry, it does get better!
2. People who are staring at you while you run admire you, they do not make fun of you.
I bet you think everyone that gives you a look during your run is actually laughing at you, especially if you come across one of those runners who “look professional”. You most likely feel ashamed and start re-thinking your body and running technique.
But you know what? It is quite the opposite.
As a professional runner, I always admire people who run, regardless of their running form or body shape. I feel so proud of them and sometimes I want to stop them and tell them that if it wouldn’t seem that weird.
But even non-runners won’t judge you because you are doing something productive that helps your health, body, and mind. Next time when somebody gives you “the look”, just smile and feel proud of yourself.
3. It takes consistency, not talent, to become a good runner
In my experience as a runner and as an assistant coach, I have seen so many talented people. They just get better so quickly, it is so natural for them. It seems like they were born to run.
But often they don’t go too far because they lack something quite important- consistency.
The mentality of the talents is often that they are just “good” at it and they don’t need to put in the extra effort over time. They show up for practice but they don’t do the small things that matter most, like sleeping enough, eating well, and taking care of their recovery. Thus, over time I see a tendency that runners who are hard-working and do all the little things consistently become such better runners that the talented ones are often beaten by them.
4. Running gives you so much more than a good body
Often people think that runners run to look good. But what most of them don’t know is that running gives you far much more for your mind and soul.
Although runners usually look fit (but not necessarily because every shape is beautiful on its own!), most of them run because it makes them feel good, strong, and resilient.
You can put your emotions away and ease the negativity around you. You can tune in with nature, the music, or your favorite podcast to turn off your brain for a moment. You can resolve all of your problems during a run because you have a different perspective. You feel like you are a stronger self and you have a purpose. A purpose to become a better YOU, not just a better body.
5. You will enjoy the pain and the suffering that comes with the hard runs
Running can hurt. A lot! If you are not a runner yet or you are just beginning, you probably haven’t done any really hard running workouts. But all of us get there at some point.
You have probably watched some marathons by now and you have been surprised how in pain people look (and sometimes even sound) when they are in their last miles. You probably have asked yourself why on Earth these people do that to themselves?
Because we like it. Yes! It sounds crazy but over time we learn to embrace the pain. We learn that this pain makes us stronger and shape us as a new human who can endure so much more than we have ever imagined before.
When you decide to take off the running journey, do not be afraid and do not assume anything. Running is a process and reveals so many surprises for us every day. What you may know, someone else has no idea. Share your experience and spread the positivity of being a runner to the world. Running will love you back!.
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