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Beginning

So some people have been asking about starting running, especially after my post of losing 20 pounds since May just by running. Don’t make me out to be a fitness guru, or anything like that, I still eat pretty horribly, but running anywhere from 20-50 miles a week really helps me in all aspects of my life, especially with getting back into shape. I feel more energized, sleep better, and overall have a more rosy outlook on life. It allows me time to think, sort out many thoughts in my head, and just enjoy being outside. On the other hand, many people they never think they will be a ‘runner’. Believe me, I never thought I would be able to run a 1/2 marathon, but I finished two, and am already looking for more to enter. Running is fun, and you have to choose to make it fun, and not see it as being so negative, and a chore. Once it reaches that point, you won’t enjoy it, and that means you won’t do it.

So the first thing you need to think about when running is your mindset. So many people always tell me, “Wow, you can run that far! I could never do that,” or a classic is, “I hate running.” or “I can’t run.” Come one people, cut yourselves some slack here! You CAN run, but just like anything else in life, you have to believe that you CAN do it. If you go into the run with the thoughts of, I’m going to hate every single minute of this, of course you are. This might be a lame comparison, but when I started driving, I was deathly afraid of it. Of course now, I’m not and I drive everywhere, but it just shows that when you start anything in life it can be scary. Use that fear in a positive way. When you start out it’s not going to be easy and your not going to be putting in 15 miles or even maybe a mile on your first run, but believe me, the results are great, and who doesn’t want to be healthier? Starting is the hardest part of so many things in life and allowing yourself the chance to like it can lead to great things. What if you never went on a first date with your husband? Or what if you never took that job offer? What if you never started running?

Also it’s a great way to get out in your community and experience some great nature. Many of you live in AMAZING areas, (I can tell by your pictures and I’m so jealous) and taking advantage of that would allow you to see some great things. I run in many yucky, all concrete areas, and just to be able to go to a place where you guys live would be a dream come true. You have the chance to run it already! It’s in your backyard so take advantage! I know this sounds cheesy, but I’ve seen some of the absolute best and breathtaking sunsets and sunrises out on my runs, and these alone are so inspiring.

I also can’t promise you addiction to running, like myself, but give yourself a chance. Not everyone who runs is immediately drawn too it. So a little background of my personal running career. I started running in 8th grade when I wanted to run for the middle school cross country team. It was a great experience and I felt like it was something I was good at and I enjoyed it. Freshman year I went out for the high school team and was on the team all four years. In winter, I played soccer and in spring I ran track. Running was always apart of my life since then and I wanted to run in college, but my summer before I started, I hurt my knee and they recommended knee surgery. I was kind of over it then, I think, mostly I was burnt out, and so I gave up racing competitively.

I ran on and off throughout college, and within the past year have really started to work at consistently running again. I started looking into running a half marathon, though I thought that it was WAY, WAY to far for me, and I wouldn’t be able to do it. I was only running 3-5 miles for my longest runs, and I knew that 13 was a long way from my measly 3 miles. I decided to sign up for one in Long Beach that was five months away and found a training site that I thought seemed to fit what I was going for. This leads me to a huge part of running. MAKE A GOAL! Once I made the goal, I couldn’t stop running. It was a bizarre change, but one weekend I ran 8 miles for my long run, then the next was 8.5, and soon I was up running 12, and 13 miles. I shocked myself, but it was almost that if I told myself I absolutely had to do it, because I already signed up for the 1/2, then I HAD to do it, and I would go out and do it. Weird how my little brain works. Sign up for a 5k (3.1 miles) fun run or run/walk, or a 10k (6.2 miles). Make a goal and stick too it. Once you have a goal, you’ll be much more into training for it. Also if you sign up for a race, you’ll see a bunch of fun crazy people at the race, and they encourage and inspire you so much! People running in costumes, barefoot, the whole 10 yards!

Make running fun for yourself, and reward yourself. Believe me, after a long run, I eat as much Taco Bell as I can that day. I get cute new running clothes when I can, and make running something that everyone in my life knows I do and enjoy doing it. Download some workout songs on your ipod (I’ll post some personal favorites soon) and just go out and get pumped up. You can even watch the classic Prefontaine movie (we used to always watch it before meets for cross country), or Rocky. Get a sports massage every now and then, and enjoy running, don’t pound yourself into the ground over it. Subscribe to Runners World and read super inspiring stories in there about other runners.

I do recommend running to get back into shape or to start getting into shape. It’s really relaxing and fun, once you get used to it and keep with it. I know the key to running is consistency and so therefore I’ve included a few links to some sites that I think will help some beginning runners. Another huge part to beginning running is no matter how good you feel, follow the guidelines and stop when you have completed the beginning work outs. Running puts a lot of different stresses on many different parts of your body. Believe me, I still get sore, but just because you feel good and you’ve jogged for a mile, doesn’t mean go for three more. To begin, start out slow and just keep building on your mileage. Start out by walking, then switch to running and walking, but just remember to go slow, don’t go out and run three miles the first day out, because the next day you’ll associate all your pain with running and it will make you never want to do it again.

I mean, if you think about it, Katie Holmes, Oprah, President Bush, P-Diddy, and Will Ferrel have all run a full marathon. That’s 26.2 miles. If they can do it, anyone can! I also read that Will Farrell’s wife is a multi-time marathoner and she paced him. He tells funny stories about running along with her saying “Look honey – it’s the Empire State Building!” and him responding “GREAT, WONDERFUL! SO WHAT??!!” because she was just loping along and he was in pain.

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Katie… ummm, nice chest bones? Okay I admit I’m jealous.

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Diddy can do it….

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This makes me love Will Ferrell even more! What is he wearing!?

The Couch to 5k Plan has a lot of great ideas and I think would really benefit any beginning runner. Also the Many Schedules on the about.com have a lot of “levels” for the advanced beginning to the never run before beginner. Also Marathon Training has a FAQ section which could help a lot for beginners. I know going to the gym and running on the treadmill can be addicting, and you feel like you are running outside, but I would really recommend going outside and running. It’s SO much different that being on the treadmill and if you train only on that, it will be much harder to run outside, especially if you want to run in an actual race. If you can only run on a treadmill, try to go outside as much as you can, but I know sometimes the weather does not permit, even I run on the treadmill every now and then.

So good luck, happy running and remember, allow yourself to enjoy it. :)

xoxo

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27 Comments

  • Reply BeachRunner

    You are the best. :) What a great post. I started running this spring and this post reminded me of why I did it and how much I love it.

    For the record, the Couch25k is easy to follow, reduces the chances of injury or burnout, and worked great for me when I started out.

    October 22, 2008 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Lacey Nicole

    Aw! What a great post!! And omg Will Ferrell is amazing. And Katie Holmes looks like she’s running on the bottoms of her pants?!

    This is really motivating. I feel like I already asked you (I forget everything, ah!)– but can I add you to my blog list? :)

    October 22, 2008 at 11:21 am
  • Reply Mojito Maven

    1. YOU ARE AMAZING…thank you so so so much
    2. i am going to check out all of those sites you posted.
    3. I totally hear you on the treadmill thing. I can honestly run for 40-50 minutes easy on a treadmill (with increased speed) but I literally die outside. Like I run for 10 minutes and want to collapse.

    I think I’m going to try and start outside and i’ll keep you posted.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Seriously you inspire me. I know i can do this. Heck I used to swim 15-25 miles A DAY, I know I can freaking run a mile.

    October 22, 2008 at 11:21 am
  • Reply Mojito Maven

    ok sorry don’t kill me but i have more questions…
    1. how many days a week do you run and which days?
    2. what type of milage are you doing on these days?
    3. Do you do any cross training in addition to your running? Do you do the cross training on the same days or different days?
    4. Do you run in the morning or evening?
    5. Do you drink water while you are running? do you get cramps? how do you prevent that?

    Ok I think that is all for now hahaha

    October 22, 2008 at 11:38 am
  • Reply Marcy

    This was a great post, chica! It’s always nice to read about how peeps came into the whole running thang ;-)

    October 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm
  • Reply Danielle

    This is such an amazing post. Thank you!

    Btw, Hi, I’m new to your blog and I love it already and I think you’re a beautiful writer and I’m already completely inspired by your story :) lol.

    October 22, 2008 at 12:08 pm
  • Reply joyRuN

    Very nice post! And yes – we choose to make it fun :)

    October 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm
  • Reply Meaghan

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    October 22, 2008 at 12:37 pm
  • Reply Julianne

    I agree with the crowd! This is a great post!! I love reading about how other people started running. :-)

    I *heart* Will Farrell, too!

    October 22, 2008 at 12:48 pm
  • Reply Jenn

    I agree — great tips!!! And I’m totally inspired by some of these celebs. Especially Will Ferrel. I’d love to train with him! :)

    October 22, 2008 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply Tutu B.

    This is an awesome post! Running is FOR SURE mental. I agree. I look forward to my runs. You listed some great tips and I hope they inspire someone to get out there and run!

    October 22, 2008 at 2:32 pm
  • Reply P.O.M.

    Great post. I’ve tried to hard to be an inspiration to my friends and fam. I got one friend to sign up for her first half (Surf City with us!). My aunt just ran her first 5k. My mom just started walking – but she’s got about 80 lbs to lose.

    I am far far far from miss fitness guru, but I have to say it’s fun being an inspiration to others.

    October 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm
  • Reply N.D.

    awesome inspirational post – I think the mindset is totally #1 as you start out!

    October 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm
  • Reply The Running Knitter

    Loved this post. I will be passing it along. :)

    October 22, 2008 at 4:13 pm
  • Reply j.

    Awesome post! No matter where someone is in their running journey, this will get them excited about running (or re-excited).

    p.s. Can you believe Katie didn’t wear a sports bra and she wore pants?! I think that every time I see that pic:-)

    October 22, 2008 at 4:28 pm
  • Reply J

    i love this comparison – “What if you never went on a first date with your husband? Or what if you never took that job offer? What if you never started running?”

    I really liked reading this post! Its nice to read about how others have gotten into running.

    October 22, 2008 at 4:31 pm
  • Reply The Roberts

    One more time, I will just say it- love this post! I am, like you, addicted to running. I love everything about it. I love how it makes me feel. I love when people say “damn you run a lot” or “damn you run far”. I love when my neighbor Ben tells me that I am an inspiration when he sees me running every morning. I love buying the cute running gear. I love signing up for races and having a goal to work towards. I love that running makes me so happy that it makes me a better mommy and wife:)

    October 22, 2008 at 4:36 pm
  • Reply *aron*

    that was such an awesome post :) you said everything right on.

    October 22, 2008 at 8:37 pm
  • Reply Brooke Hughes

    Great Blog! Im an addict too, so I know how you feel.

    October 22, 2008 at 9:44 pm
  • Reply Burger

    Amen sister.

    October 23, 2008 at 12:11 am
  • Reply Stacey

    Great post! I just stumbled on your blog from Google (searched their blog thing for "beginner running") & have put a link to you on my blog.

    Glad to hear you've been doing so well with running – it seems I've been hoping to build up to 5k for years now – maybe I'll make it this time around :-p

    October 23, 2008 at 7:38 am
  • Reply Es

    Just came across this post again. Thanks for putting it in the Motivating Key Posts section where it’s easily accessible to re-read when more motivation is needed. Great blog, Danica!

    August 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm
  • Reply Lulu

    Watching the NYC Marathon this weekend really had a profound effect on me… All the inspirational stories really made me think about the way I use my personal time and set goals. I’ve decided that I’d love to try and take up running! Thanks for all the great informative posts, I’ll def. be trolling around here a lot more! :)
    xoxo,
    Lulu

    November 2, 2009 at 9:12 am
  • Reply Kari

    Such a great post!! I never thought I was a runner before, but now that I’ve started and acutally made a goal this time (my first 5k in March) I actually ENJOY running!! I’m starting off slow but I find myself eager to go out again the next day to see how I can improve. It’s fantastic!

    January 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm
  • Reply ALB8986

    good stuff.. wished i had this at my beginnings 30 yrs ago..

    August 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm
  • Reply Nelly

    Great post, I think you are probably inspring a ton of people to take up running with this blog. You make running so easy to picture and to achieve, keep up the great blog entries!

    November 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm
  • Reply Janet

    Good post, Danica
    I love reading about how other people started running, Take up running with this blog. I started running 2 years ago :)) Love your blog

    December 31, 2014 at 12:52 am
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