Avoid Comparing – This is my #1 tip. Don’t compare yourself to your partner, or your friend, or the dude running down the street. Everyone is different. Everyone is at a different point of their fitness journey. Only compare yourself to you. And even then, cut yourself some slack You’re just learning!
Rome wasn’t built in a day – an 8-12 week plan is meant to build up your fitness over time, slowly. Have patience, trust the process.
Walking is Totally Ok – For some reason people think walking is bad. Seriously, walking is fine, it helps you build up endurance while following your training plan. Allow yourself the option of taking walk breaks.
Pace Yourself – Don’t go all out. I know, it’s hard to control. But pace yourself and you will find the process MUCH more do-able and enjoyable.
Rest Days are Crucial – When I first started running and my training schedule called for 2 or 3 rest days each week…I thought it was bogus. I thought I was wasting time. But I wasn’t, and I learned that quickly. Rest days are as important to your training schedule as running day. They let your muscles heal and build up strength from your efforts. Do not skip rest day. Embrace them and love them.
Nutrition is Important – The healthier you eat, the better your training will go.
Eat the right fuel and avoid processed food and empty calories. Try to fill your plate with nutritious foods that will fuel your energy so you aren’t drained or bogged down during your runs. (maybe try these delicious healthy breakfast bowls for runners).
Wait, here’s more important tips related to Motivation:
Overcoming Low Motivation Days – These will happen. It’s pretty much guaranteed. But it doesn’t have to stop you or derail you. Tell yourself you’re just going out for a 5 minute walk and lace up and get outside or on the treadmill. Most likely, your energy will return, or at worst, it won’t, but at least you tried. Remember that low motivation days are just small bumps in the process, and they will pass.
There will be bad days (and it’s ok) – just like low motivation days, you’ll have bad runs. Life will happen – you’ll be tired, or sick, or sore, or in a bad mood, or it will be raining. Maybe your run won’t be fun. Maybe you won’t do all the distance you planned. It’s ok. Keep going. Don’t let this deter you. It happens to even elite runners. Don’t give up because of a bad day.
Find a Supporter – Whether it’s a spouse or best friend or family member, try to find someone you can turn to for support. My husband has always been my biggest supporter, followed closely by my best friend (who I once texted mid-run, in the rain, to say I wanted to give up my training because I was hating that run, and she immediately texted back incredible words of support that re-energized me and helped me finish the run and my training schedule).
Have fun! – Guys, running is fun. Most of the time But seriously, remember why you’re doing this – it’s fun! Smile! Enjoy the process! You will be rewarded with the most INCREDIBLE feeling of accomplishment when you complete your goal!