Run for your life! Running has been proven to be a sort of ‘fountain of youth’, enabling the body to work efficiently, and therefore, helping people to live longer. Picture all of your bodily systems working in complete harmony. Your respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems all engaged. Blood rushing to all of your organs, delivering oxygen and essential nutrients.
People know they should do a lot of things. I should go to the dentist. I should get the salad instead of the cheeseburger. I should do some laundry. I should go for a run.
Unfortunately, the reason you should want to run is something you can only discover after an extended period of running. Many people never get to this point. Running is hard. The discouragement of early difficulties (perceived failure, extreme fatigue, injury) obstruct the path to wanting to run. This is why it is extremely important to start small when beginning a running program.
If you know you should be running, you should probably start walking first. Walking is a precursor to running, and that is exactly where you should start if need be. The majority of running injuries are due to overuse, which is very common when starting a new program.
Do not increase your running mileage by more than 10% each week. Running 1 mile per day the first week and increasing to 5 miles per day the next is a recipe for many common overuse injuries. If you feel comfortable running 1 mile, the next week you may want to take an extra lap around the block. It may feel easy at the time, but your body will thank you later.
Listen to your body. Runners will know you are not making excuses! Your body needs time to recover and rebuild after running. Not giving it adequate time to do so will eventually lead to overuse injuries and overall mental burnout.
Start small, let your body adapt slowly, avoid early overuse injuries, and lead yourself into a long lifetime of wanting to run.
It’s ok to know you should run and yet just not want to. But when you break through, when your body adapts and understands, that is the feeling that will make you want to run. Your breaths are heavy, but rhythmic and controlled. Your muscles and mind alike, exhausted of every shadow of energy, persevere to do their job. The feeling of your entire body, with each cadenced step growing closer to your goals. Let yourself get there, to the feeling of complete harmony, the feeling that tells yourself not only that you should run, but you want to run.