“I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore.
I run to escape the ordinary…” -Patrick Nguyen

Introduction

Welcome to the world of running! Running is not only a fantastic way to exercise, it’s also a fun way to explore your neighborhood and nature!

Running also offers many exciting benefits that can help:

  • Boost your energy
  • Lighten your mood
  • Benefit your sleep
  • Boost your confidence and endurance
  • Prevent health issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and anxiety

Whatever your reason is to get started running, picking up this book is a great start! Sure, it may be easy to start running – you just put on your shoes and head out the door! But it can be even harder to find the consistency to make it out the door regularly.

This book will serve as a guide to help you on your running journey. In this book, you’ll find:

  • Tips to build a running foundation
  • Three different types of beginner running plans
  • Tips to enhance your running form so you can run faster and prevent injury

Before you begin increasing your weekly mileage, ensure that you check in with your physician about your new exercise plan.

These topics will help you start your running journey:

  • Chapter 1: Adopt the Mindset of a Runner. One of the first steps you’ll take mentally is to adopt the mindset of a runner. There will be times you might feel defeated or unmotivated to run, and it’s a strong mindset that will help you move forward.
  • Chapter 2: Building a Foundation: Beginner Tips for Runners. One of the hardest steps is the first step out the door. This chapter covers how you can build a strong foundation before, during, and after your run.
  • Chapter 3: Beginner Running Plan. Which beginner running plan is right for you? We provide an overview of three different running plans to help you kickstart your running journey!

  • Chapter 4: Tips to Enhance Your Running Form. Improving your running form can help relieve body pain, make you faster, and use energy more efficiently. Refer to this chapter often to work towards achieving a healthy and effective running form.

  • Chapter 5: What You Need to Know About Sports and Running Nutrition. Speaking of using energy more efficiently, this chapter provides an overview of nutrition and useful tips to know.

  • Chapter 6: Running Gear. You might start running because it’s easy to just throw on running shoes and go out the door. After you get into running, you can be surprised at how investing in great running gear can make a huge difference. This chapter gives you pertinent information about various running gear.

  • Chapter 7: Improving as a Runner. By following the chapters in this book, you’ll have the foundation to start running, improve your running form, and eat proper nutrition. This chapter will cover how to keep the momentum going and continue improving as a runner.

The best way to start your running journey is beginning to adopt the mindset of a runner.

Chapter 1. Adopt the Mindset of a Runner

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” – John Bingham

Have you ever thought or said anything along the lines of, “I go running, but I’m not a runner yet?”

Why is it so common for people to go running, yet stand as far away as possible from their title of a runner?

Sometimes it’s because we fear the judgment from others that might come as we step into our role as a runner. Instead of celebrating your daily determination, others might call you “slow,” a “jogger,” or “not really there yet.”

However, if you run, you are a runner. On your journey, others might try to minimize you and that could feel discouraging. Because of the words from ourselves and others, it may be hard to believe that you are actually a runner.

The first step of growing as a runner is to proudly celebrate that you go running.

Neither your pace nor your distance matter. If you run, you are a runner. If you put on your shoes and go outside (or hop on the treadmill), you are overlapping anyone spending their spare time watching television from the sofa.

Maybe you’re reading this book because you want to improve as a runner. Or you want to find ways to fit consistent running into your routine.

If running isn’t already a part of your routine, it might be difficult to start fitting it into your life. How can you start running and maintain it in a way that will create long-lasting results?

The first step is believing you are a runner. The next step is finding where you can improve your mindset.

Consider these reminders to adopt the mindset of a runner:

  1. Start with two minutes. When you start with something new like running, you want to make it as easy as possible to get started. Limiting your first sessions to two minutes will help you start showing up so that you can transition into the regular routine of going for a run.

  2. Turn your intention into action. Instead of thinking about running as something you have to do, think about it as something you get to do! Convince your brain to stick to the plan by thinking about running as something you want to do.

  3. Slow progress doesn’t mean “no progress.” Accept progress over perfection. You won’t be breaking personal records overnight. If you find yourself discouraged, remind yourself that every step forward is a step forward. Remember that all progress is good!

  4. Grit is as important as growth. Your determination to accomplish your goals is just as important as making progress. It’s not easy to start finding the grit to make it out the door each day. Acknowledge your determination to show up and go run.

  5. Reward yourself after each victory, no matter how small. Rewards help train your brain to look forward to running. Have a reward ready every time you reach a milestone – even if the milestone is as simple as going outside.

There will be times that, for whatever reason, you feel unmotivated to run.

Maybe it’s because you’re pushing yourself to your physical limits. It could also possibly be that due to its repetitive activity, running is as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical exercise.

When that lack of motivation shows up and you start questioning yourself, you’ll have your mindset to fall back on.

Remind yourself:

  • Slow progress doesn’t mean any progress.

  • You have the determination to show up and run (even if that determination isn’t today).

  • Every victory is a victory (even the small ones).

Showing up, even if it’s for two minutes, matters. Showing up is still moving forward.

As you master your mindset, you can begin to master your foundation.