How do you get started with running? Getting out the door is always the hardest part - especially if you’re coming back from illness or injury! Luckily, Running Evolution Coach Beth Baker (also known as the #ButtSlap queen) has the perfect introduction training plan, along with tricks to get you moving.
Back when the world stopped in March, I got a cough. Wait…let me back up. In February I was on track with my training to run the marathon in Azores. The training was brutal and humbling, but I was doing it. I had a plan, time set aside to run said plan, and people to help me...because I needed buckets of help. Then the world stopped. Then I started coughing…for 3 months. Running went from running for 20 miles up and down 4,000 feet of elevation to gasping for breath walking up the stairs and not sleeping a wink. I found myself in the hospital one Sunday morning where the doctor explained post-COVID symptoms were attacking my lungs. I was sent home with steroids and an inhaler. The drugs worked, I got better, and felt lucky.
One morning, I put my Garmin on and looked at my unworn-for-months shoes for a solid 5 minutes. I was worried about running again for all kinds of reasons: I was back at square one, I had no one to run with, and zero races to train towards. This brought up a whole new bag of feelings that I was curious about. Why the heck should I run? I felt humbled, discouraged and scared to get out there. How do you get back the running mojo, and why should you even try? How do you get back out there when the game re-starting is so hard? Added in with all of those mind games were voices whispering in my ear saying, “Oh, what happened to you? Why are you so slow now?” Please tell me that I am not the only one who hears this little pest, am I?
What helped me to get back in the saddle is to remind myself of the feeling I get when I do start running, and then to tap into that magical pool. From there, it’s just reverse engineering to get back into the running habit. This has been a huge help for me and my clients, and can also re-work your mindset so you can stay motivated.
Plan your week: Set up your week, and schedule your runs. This will take a ton of “should I stay or should I go?” conversations out of your head. Set a date and a time to go out, and make it freaking happen.
Test run: When on a restart program, the “getting out the door” is going to be the toughest job, so set yourself up with some grace and accept where you are. Tell yourself to get out the door and run for X amount of time, go slow and just see how you do.
Add play: Incorporate fun things to your run that will make it more joyful and less of a slog, especially when you are starting out. Set aside a special playlist for your big come-back into the running world. Count dogs, wave at other runners, and there’s always the fun game of “anti-tag: staying 6 feet away from people.”
Gratitude minute: When you are done with your runs, take one minute and jot down all the things you are feeling or are grateful for at that moment. Gather your small wins and share them. They might look different to what they were before, but so does everything else.