I tried a lot of methods for consistent running, which all led to failure. Then it was 5 months ago that I finally figured it out. I’m writing this note for people who like to run but don’t know how or where to start. I’ll explain how I started from bottom and got myself to easily run 10km in one session.
Why wasn’t I successful in running consistently before that?
· I didn’t know the main reason of getting tired after 3 minutes of running.
· I didn’t factor in the importance of nutrition.
· I wasn’t familiar with the consequences of neglecting the details of running.
· I didn’t know what was the best strategy for increasing my pace or duration of running.
· Most importantly, back then I didn’t know that I should ignore the voice inside my head that told me I was tired and I couldn’t keep going
Most of my problems got solved when I found The Beginning Runner’s Handbook. The writer Ian MacNeill wrote 300 pages about running and called it The Beginning Runner’s Handbook. It seems odd but the book, just like a teacher rather than a coach, will guide you step by step. The book is full of stories about troubled people in their hard times and effect of running on problem solving. This was the fun part of process. You can find the answer to almost every question you have about nutrition, exercise and running plans with this book.
Best part of the book is a running plan called “13 weeks program”. You’ll start from running one minute per day and end up running 50 minutes in the end of the 13th week. The program is for beginners who like to upgrade their body strength through running.
You can skip reading the book (which I strongly advise against it) and just print the program and stick to that. You can buy the book from AMAZON, and the program can be found here. Every other day you should take a day off. Apart from the book, these points will also be useful:
If you are thinking about your clothes while running, it means you they are not appropriate. Sweating may cause your clothes to stick to your body, your shoes may hurt your feet or any other thing that irritates you. The best choice for me was the sports shorts and T-shirts. The first time I ran with shorts on, the air touching my feet made me feel twice the energy comparing to the times I ran with pants.
The best place for running should have these elements: Must be far from the crowd and traffic. The running shouldn’t trouble the other people. You must feel good by being there. You should be able to run there every week. It must make you feel relaxed. It also shouldn’t have uphill or downhill.
Finding a place like this in Tehran is not an easy job. Luckily Tehran has lots of parks and if you are lucky you can find one near your house that has these elements.
Perhaps the most important factor in increasing body strength is consistence workout. You have to push yourself so that skipping a session wouldn’t be an option; Even if you are traveling, or you have an urgent thing to do or you simply don’t feel like doing it. A good technique for avoiding this irregularities or laziness is taking notes. Write a line or two about each session or the thoughts you’ve had on that session. Read the notes through the week. It’s even better if you print out the running plan and put it right in front of you, so each time you do a session you can easily check it on the program.
Another technique would be “fake it until you make it”. You have to do a session tonight, but you hadn’t thought about it through the day. Act like you have the enthusiasm for running. Put the running clothes on, drink water and get your favorite songs or podcasts ready.
The whole running process must be enjoyable for you. Obviously the first or last part of the session is always hard but the whole process should make you feel good. I myself listen to different podcasts. Both as a personal entertainment and an energy booster for each session. I think the story of other people’s lives and encountering difficulties can make the process of running easier. It seems like there is a relationship between completing sessions and listening to other people’s triumphs and defeats. I listen to these podcasts:
Startup by gimlet media
It doesn’t matter what the podcast is about, the important thing is that you must listen to something that you find interesting.
The last point is the working out in groups. It seems that group exercising is much easier. I couldn’t find a group for nightly running in Tehran, but I think running in groups will lift each individual’s spirits. If you know such thing, hang on to them.