“I’m not a runner!”
“I don’t run!”
“I could never run!”
What do these phrases have in common? Are they phrases a number of people have told me in some way or another over the years? Why yes, they are. But that’s not all.
These are words I have said at some point or another.
Yes, friends, this little Disney double race weekend running, Spartan Race Trifecta-earning, trail climber once proudly proclaimed that I don’t run. Period. Nada. Never.
I had a litany of excuses to why I was and would never be a runner. Despite being a well-conditioned roller skater, I got winded after a couple minutes of running. My, uh, female-based endowments could not possibly be supported enough for me to run without pain. I sucked at it, and as result, it wasn’t fun.
And here’s the thing…all of those things were true! So how in the world did I eventually become someone who could and would participate in distance running races and obstacle races?
Because despite being accurate at the time, ultimately, all of my reasons and excuses for not running were complete and utter BS.
For some reason that I don’t fully remember now, in 2012, I made a decision to sign up for a 5K obstacle race. I’m thinking the obstacle side of it is what looked fun for me and that helped me reconcile the running side of it. From there, I downloaded a Couch to 5K app on my phone and simply started following the instructions on the app. It started easy enough – intervals with thirty seconds to a minute of running followed by two minutes of walking. And it built over a number of weeks until, lo and behold, I could eventually run a 5K race! And there’s nothing like the sense of satisfaction that comes from doing something that you once proclaimed you wouldn’t or couldn’t do.
The rest, as they say, was history. In the last four years, I’ve run multiple 5K, 10K and half marathons. I’ve run Spartan Races and trail races ranging from 5 miles to 15 miles.
Suffice to say, I can now eat my words from a few years ago. Yes, friends, I am a runner.
If you’re someone who has ever said that you could never be a runner, I’m now here to call BS on you.
Yeah, chances are you suck at it right now. You get winded after a few minutes. You don’t have any fun when you attempt to run.
Want to change that? Want to feel that runner’s high that the running weirdos in your life swear is a real thing?
If so, here’s my advice for you:
1. First and foremost, believe that you can. Because you can!
2. Find a race that sounds fun. For me, it was an obstacle race. For you, the excitement could come from somewhere else. If you like wine, sign up for a wine-themed run. If you like sightseeing, find a race that takes you through historic areas. If you like the mountains, register for a trail run. If there is a cause you get behind, chances are there is a charity fundraising run out there supporting it. Hit the Googles and find a run in your area that clicks with you.
3. Start small. I’m not telling you that you have to be a marathon runner. 5K races are super easy to find, and training for one is not as difficult as you may think. See how that feels. If you want to build on that, go for it! If that distance is where you want to be, stick with it. A 5K distance (just over 3 miles) is a great place to start.
4. Shoes! Good running shoes can be a game changer. Everyone’s feet are different, and getting running shoes (and insoles, if necessary) that are properly fit to your feet and all their funny nuances can help change your entire attitude about your running experience. My advice is to go to a running store and take the time to have your stride analyzed to help determine what shoes are right for your feet. It’s an investment, but getting the right shoes can help reduce or eliminate any knee or ankle pain that you may currently experience when you try to run. It’s worth it.
5. Give yourself two to three months to train for your first race. If you are currently not a runner, it’s helpful to start slow for a couple reasons. A slow build will help ease your body into this new form of training. You will be able to see yourself achieve new milestones and prevent frustration that can come from pushing your body too hard too quickly. A Couch to 5K app is an excellent way to train in a slow-build manner. Typically, 5K training plans on a Couch to 5K app take about 8-10 weeks with approximately 2-3 days a week of running.
6. Don’t forget to cross train! Run training is, of course, crucial if you are training to become a runner. But you still want to strengthen your body – particularly the lower body – during this time. Strength and resistance training will help you run faster and more efficiently, as well as protect the hip, knee and ankle joints that are stressed from running.
7. Invest in a good sports bra. Ok, that one was just for the ladies!
8. And finally…don't forget to believe that you can! Because you can!
ARE YOU READY TO DITCH THE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK AND BECOME THE RUNNER YOU NEVER KNEW YOU COULD BE?
If so, I encourage you to take the Bust Your Boundaries Challenge!
The premise of is simple: sign up for a race of any kind in the New Year, and then partner with me and my group fitness program Power Jam FitCamp to train for it. And when you do that, you can attend Power Jam FitCamp for FREE from now until December 9th!
If you’re looking for a clear and present sign that it’s time to sign up for a race, this is it!
Here's what you need to do:
- Commit to signing up for a race or competition of your choice between January and June of 2017. This can be a 5K, 10K, half marathon, triathlon, marathon, Ironman, obstacle race - you name it. Just choose one that aligns with the personal boundary you’d like to bust through. If you never saw yourself as a runner, time to bust through that boundary and register for your first 5k. If you feel like you can handle a little dirt, perhaps an obstacle race is in your future. If you're really comfortable doing one thing, it's time to try something new that takes you on an adventure outside your comfort zone.
- Partner with Power Jam FitCamp in Santa Monica to help you train for that race by signing up for and committing to 3 months of Power Jam FitCamp workouts starting in the New Year. Register HERE. (You will be required to sign a recurring payment agreement after which you will be automatically directed to the registration page.)
- And here's the awesome part: once you confirm that you have done these two things, you will get to attend ALL Power Jam FitCamp workouts for the REST OF 2016 - FOR FREE! (between sign up date and 12/9/16). That's up to two weeks of FREE WORKOUTS with a coach (me!) who wants to help you feel that runner’s high and get that medal at the end of the race.
- All you have to do is go HERE and register for Power Jam FitCamp and send me your proof of race registration and, BOOM, you get to work out for FREE for the rest of 2016!
Now get out there and hit the ground running in 2017. Because believe it or not, you ARE a runner!