Always have a plan.
In my first post, I said that to be a runner, “All you really need is two feet and a little motivation.” The more I think about it, that’s only partially true.
I’d (unscientifically) estimate that for every person loves running, there are three more that want to love running and can’t stick with it. They burn out on running before they’ve barely even started.
I used to be one of these people. Every few months, I’d get the idea in my head that I wanted to be a runner. “It’s so simple,” I’d tell myself. “I can just put on my sneakers, get out there, and run really hard.” And I was completely wrong.
There is one other crucial element to becoming a runner – a good plan.
A quick Google search will yield hundreds of training plans for every imaginable skill level and distance. Runner’s World has tons of free and paid training resources. (This 8 Week Beginner’s Plan is really simple.) The Couch to 5K Running Plan is really popular. Of course, shops like Fleet Feet offer some amazing, judgment-free training programs that can get you started and keep you motivated.
At the heart of all this is a very simple idea: When you lace up your sneakers and hit the road, you need to know what you’re looking to accomplish on that day. Are looking to get faster? Maybe you need intervals? Want to run farther than usual? Maybe you need to slow down a little.
Always know how far and how fast before you hit the road. Just “running really hard” is a recipe for failure.