What if I told you that you can make your dream of becoming a runner come true? I can because that’s exactly what I did just a year ago. I really admired runners, but never thought I could be one myself. In January 2016, inspired by social media posts of my friends running races in amazing places, I signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon without any running experience whatsoever. After a year of training, I finished the race last month. I had a great time, met a lot of wonderful people, and got to celebrate my first half marathon in the happiest place on earth!
Here are six helpful tips that helped me achieve my dream of becoming a runner in 12 months:
First, set an achievable goal and give yourself enough time to really prepare for that goal. I gave myself a year to train and prepare for the Half Marathon in Disney.
Second, purchase a good, durable, comfortable pair of running shoes with shock absorption. Remember, function over fashion.
Third, start by using the walk-run-walk method because it helps your body adjust to the new physical activity. I found this article particularly helpful: “How to Utilize the Run Walk Method for Smarter Training”.
Fourth, establish a support network who has a vested interest in your success. I joined the Y’s Running Club which has fantastic trainers who weathered all types of running conditions and literally went the extra mile(s) to help me train. I also had the support of my husband and my friends at the Running Club to make me feel like I could be successful.
Fifth, try to eat a healthier diet that will give your body what it needs to run longer distances. I ate about an hour before running. While you don’t have to carb load, I made sure to eat something with carbs to support my body and to help with recovery.
Finally, persevere, even if you feel discouraged. Sometimes fixating on the distance or the time can force you to rush and push yourself too hard. That can lead to injuries, so don’t talk yourself out of accomplishing your goal. You are capable and completely worth it.
I leave you with one final thought in the words of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
About the Author:
Rebecca is a member of Somerville YMCA. She is passionate about helping people, loves to run, to be outdoors and to try new things.