My name is Peter, and I’m addicted to running 🙂
I took up running when I was at Kellogg Business School in Chicago – largely because my roommate, Jon, made me. But I quickly saw the benefits – running improves your cardiovascular strength, lowers bad cholesterol and speeds up your metabolism. Not to mention the immense positive feelings and boost to self-esteem that you get after every run. It’s no surprise why running is such an immensely popular exercise – it’s cheap, it’s available, and it works. Up in the morning, pull your running shoes on, and hit the trails.
I have been running for so long now that it is simply a way of life – living in the mountains, runs can be punishingly hard (starting at 8,000 feet of elevation and going up – sometimes for hours), but are always stunningly beautiful. I come back from my run, take a quick shower, and am mentally-alert and focused for a day in the office.
Below, I’m sharing some great tips that I have found to help you make running part of your life:
Establishing a goal for each run (even if it’s just to not walk!) creates benchmarks of your progress and a sense of accomplishment. Eventually, your goals will get bigger, says Elizabeth Maiuolo of Running and the City, “like running over all of the NYC bridges or covering three different parks in one run.” On Saturday I plan to run 16 miles covering three mountain peaks and reaching an elevation of 11,000ft. That would have been unthinkable several years ago.
“Don’t even think about pace at the beginning,” says Amanda Loudin, the voice behind Miss Zippy. “Many people get discouraged at first because they want to run ‘fast.’ So they go out and kill themselves, then feel dejected and discouraged.” Coach Ryan Knapp of Out and Back emphasizes running at a conversational pace, meaning you should be able to talk on-the-go. While it may go against the “No pain. No gain.” mentality, it “ensures you are building your aerobic endurance and teaching your body to become more efficient, which is the key to running,” he says.
I always, always run with a friend. There’s a sense of joint endurance through pain, and the intense camaraderie that comes with successfully completing a hard run. “Ask a friend you haven’t seen in a while to run with you,” says Jocelyn Bonneau, better known as Enthusiastic Runner. “Catch up while running and the miles will fly by as you chat!” Julie Curtis of ROJ Running adds that your date could also be a romantic one. “Studies have shown couples who run together, stay together,” she says. “Take your crush out for a little jog or reignite passion in your long term relationship. That post-workout glow could lead to a few more calories burned — if you know what I’m saying.” (Funnily enough, my wife and I have been running together for 23 years!)
Sometimes there’s nothing like some new gear to get you going – a new pair of shoes, a new winter running jacket – whatever makes you feel like you want to get out there and use them. “A flashy training outfit will make me want to run faster and longer,” admits Maiuolo. Michelle Roos of Pawsitively Delightful also abides by this approach. “If I have time (and money), I will buy either a new pair of shorts or a tank that will act as a reward for all of the hard work that I’ve done up until then,” she says. “If it’s something I know I’ll want to race in later, I can test it out!”
Maybe running isn’t for everyone… but give it a go – you won’t know until you try!