While you may think that avid runners just put sneakers on one day and hit the pavement with ease, chances are that’s not the case. Running for beginners starts in all kinds of ways, whether it’s with a New Year’s resolution or a couch-to-5k, and even for experts, no one journey looks the same. We talked with Peloton instructors Jess Sims, Matt Wilpers and Olivia Amato about how they learned to love running. Read on to get the scoop on how they laced up, embraced every step and how you can too.
How to Begin
If you’re feeling intimidated, know that the best way to make a breakthrough is to begin. “The hardest part is starting,” says Olivia, “but know that we all have to start somewhere.” Since running is an extension of walking, Olivia suggests starting with a brisk stroll and then work your way up to running for extended periods of time. “Start with a power walk, work your way into walk/run intervals and then try tapping in to any of the Fun or Outdoor runs on Peloton Digital,” Olivia says, and make sure your miles are musically prepped with motivation. “A great playlist always helps me move when I need motivation.” Most importantly, she reminds us that we’re probably ready before we believe we are. “You’re so much stronger than you even know,” she says.
How to Fall in Love With Lacing Up
The process of learning to love a run has a lot to do with your perspective. Both instructors Jess Sims and Matt Wilpers remember not loving running since it was usually associated with a punishment during their time in team sports. Jess notes that her viewpoint quickly changed one day when she decided to take a walk to de-stress and take time to focus on herself. “That walk quickly turned into a run because I felt so present and free,” says Jess, ”I no longer felt pressure to run fast–I realized that I actually enjoyed running when I dropped all my expectations of what it’s supposed to be.” That involves removing the judgment from your run she notes. “Run without putting pressure on yourself,” suggests Jess, “We are all naturally capable of running, but we get into our heads and convince ourselves that we are ‘not runners’ because we may not be super fast or we don’t run long races.” She says to instead switch gears and try running because you’re simply able to. “Run because you can,” says Jess. “This helps me become grateful for what my body allows me to do.”
How to Stay Motivated
When you start getting into a running groove, it’s only natural that you’ll have some days where you won’t feel motivated or your miles won’t feel amazing, but Jess says to just keep going. “You might have a run where you catch a cramp in the first five minutes, or your legs start to fatigue earlier than expected–this is okay,” says Jess. “Accept it without belittling yourself or blaming the sport for being too hard–it’s all part of the process.” Matt Wilpers notes that he relies on the self-discipline he’s built over the years to help eliminate the excuses. “There will always be a list of excuses you can come up with to not do something, especially something that no one is forcing you to do,” says Matt. “Get in the habit of forcing yourself to do it and those excuses will start to seem less and less enticing.” Better yet, Matt says this discipline will eventually apply everywhere. “It will help to not only improve your running, but also many other aspects of your life.”
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