Running can be an addictive hobby, but it doesn’t always start out that way. I have heard so many times from friends. “I hate running, I can’t imagine running if no one is chasing me”. My response to this is that it sucks for everyone at the beginning. You have to get past the point of it being miserable to be able to enjoy it. Also, not every run is bliss. What keeps runners running is that feeling you get when you accomplish something, whether it is just accomplishing a run for the day or achieving a new PR in a workout or a race. This kind of addiction has a lot of great benefits to the mind and body, so it is worth the effort to get there. So, how does one get to this point. How does a person go from a non-runner to an addicted runner, a weekend warrior to an everyday athlete?
The key is slow and steady. The quickest way to ruin good intentions to become a runner is to get injured. The quickest way to an injury is by trying to do too much too soon. How much is too much depends on the kind of activity level you had before. Those who have been rarely seen in any sort of athletic attire in the past year will need to get the body ready before running, while those who have been very physically fit prior to taking on running as part of their routine might be able to jump in a little quicker.
The key is to strengthen the needed muscle groups, introduce impact activities (if you haven’t been doing any impact activities prior), then begin running with a gradual progression. If you are immediately having pain as you being a running program (within the first week), you need to gain more strength. If you begin having pain within a few weeks, you need to slow down the progression into your running program.
For more specific running programs perfect for any beginner runner or someone who is trying to return to running injury free, please check out my ebook Painfree Running!