6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running

winter beach sunsetIt’s the time of year when you’re starting to question why you decided to train for a spring race. It’s cold, snowy and dark. It’s hard to get out of the door.

I ran my first half-marathon almost 5 years ago and in that time, I’ve learned a few things about running. When I started running, I didn’t really know anyone who ran and there are a lot of things I wish someone had been told.

I thought I’d be a good time for a post like this to hopefully get you out there if you’re starting to lose motivation.

  1. Running does get easier. I very clearly remember thinking 21km was an impossibly far distance and it is really far but after you’ve run it a few times, it starts to seem a lot less far. The same thing is true of 5km or 10km or 50km. Once you’ve run 10k a few times, that 5km that used to seem so hard is going to feel a lot easier.
  2. Rest days are just as important as run days. This one has taken me a long time to learn. I love running and I wish I could do it every day but that’s a really good way to injure myself really quickly. Your body needs time to recover so I make sure that on rest days, I rest.
  3. Buy a foam roller and use it. It hurts so good! Foam rolling is another really good way to make sure that you give your sore muscles the attention they deserve. A good foam roll can do all sorts of good on sore, tired legs.
  4. Believe in the bad run. The thing is that you’re going to have bad runs, there is no avoiding that so embrace it. You can’t always have the really great runs where you feel like you can run forever. You also won’t appreciate the great runs without knowing how much you struggled and persevered through the bad runs.
  5. The people you meet running are some of the best people you’ll ever meet. Until the last year or so, I predominantly ran alone and didn’t engage much with the Toronto running community. That was a big mistake, no one understands you like another runner! I still love running alone but I also love having running friends who understand why I’m willing to get up at 6am on a weekend morning!
  6. You are capable of things that you never thought possible. The first time that I ran a half marathon by the end I could not fathom how someone could go twice that far. It honestly seemed impossible but two years later, I managed to do it. Every runner I know has a story like this. I’m currently training to run 4 marathons in a row (100 miles) which I didn’t even know what humanly possible a couple years ago! So whatever crazy goal you might have in your head, go for it!

What would you add to this list?

Happy running!

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One thought on “6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running

  1. adamhaesler February 17, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    Hey hey Katherine,
    My addition would be the following:

    You need to know WHY you run, otherwise it will not happen. The thing is usually this has to be so much more important than, I want to finish the race.

    I thought I understood this concept until I began training for my first 100 miler. I have always been the committed type, but nothing could have prepared me for the number of late nights, financial expense, or amount of hours to be spent in the pouring rain. If I was not super clear on my why I would not have made it past week 6.

    It is because of all of this it is imperative that I knew without a doubt why I was going through all of this, for me I refuse to believe I have reached my potential as the bar can always be higher. Thus I keep training to prove myself wrong everyday that I know my potential.

    Never stop reaching for your potential and you will not only help yourself, but others around you, which is an amazing cycle.

    Have a wonderful day,
    Adam.

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