Quarantine. Social-distancing. Pandemic.
Before this year, most of us used these words only a handful of times in our lives. Now, they’re a part of our everyday vocabulary.
These are challenging times for sure. We’re in uncharted waters. Understandably, many of us find ourselves at a tipping point.
We’ve been confined to our homes for weeks binging Netflix, scrolling through social media, feeling abnormal amounts of stress and anxiety, wondering what 2020 will throw at us next.
And it’s just way too easy to stroll to the kitchen for another snack to take the edge off. As a result, you may have added some extra poundage during the lockdown.
It’s the dreaded quarantine-15.
Don’t beat yourself up. You’ve literally been locked in your home for weeks. Putting on a few pounds is perfectly understandable and expected.
But if you’re tired of being stuck inside, if you’re tired of feeling sluggish and lazy, if you’re ready to transform your life, keep reading.
Running just might be the answer. And there’s never been a better time to start.
Lace ’em up
Running is the most popular form of exercise on the planet, and rightfully so.
With nearly a decade of distance running under my belt, I can assure you that running will drastically improve your life.
There’s never been a better time to start running than right now. Summer is here, and with so many things cancelled and closed due to the pandemic, you have time.
Unfortunately, too many aspiring runners are defeated before they even take one stride. There’s so much data out there these days that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Just google “How to start running” and the amount of conflicting information will kill any motivation you had.
I know because I was once there myself.
“What type of shoes do I wear? How far do I need to run? How often do I need to run? What do I eat? Ugh. Where do I even begin?”
These were the thoughts that went through my mind before I began running. I always wanted to develop a running routine, but I’d get hung up on irrelevant details until my over-analyzation stopped me in my tracks.
It was a classic case of analysis paralysis.
Regardless of what you’ve been led to believe, or what your over-analyzing brain tells you, you don’t need complicated running programs, unrealistic diet plans, or expensive shoes to start running.
To become a runner, all you need is a desire to better yourself and your situation, combined with some grit and determination. Then, just put one foot in front of the other.
Just run. That’s it.
If it sounds way too simple, that’s because it is.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been running for nearly a decade. Now, running is a part of my identity.
Running completely changed my life. It made me a better husband, a better father, and a better person.
You can learn more about my story, and get a much-needed boost of motivation by checking out this article: The Secret to Becoming a Runner
To become a runner, you don’t have to torture yourself and run every single day. In fact, recovery is more important than actually running. You can get results from running as little as two to three times per week.
Here, I’ll detail the simple routine I followed when I first started distance running. I used this template to go from never running farther than a mile in my life, to running an 8K in less than two months.
Keep in mind that this plan is not set in stone, and that’s the beauty of it. Use it as a guide and change it as needed to fit your goals.
Depending on your fitness level, you may need to add more time before stepping up mileage, and that is perfectly okay. My goal was to complete an 8K road race, but if your goal is to complete a 5K, you won’t need to increase mileage as frequently.
In my training routine, I only ran three times per week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. For the first week, I ran half a mile and walked half a mile. In weeks two and three, I tried to run 1 mile without stopping.
Each week built upon the previous week. Here’s what it looked like:
- Week 1: ½ mile run, ½ walk
- Weeks 2 and 3: 1 mile run
- Weeks 4 and 5: 2 mile run
- Week 6: 3 miles
- Week 7: 4 miles
- Week 8: 5 miles
See? It’s incredibly simple.
Running is far more mental than physical. Consistency is the key here. As with anything worth doing in life, there are no shortcuts in running. You’ll get out exactly what you put in.
Not gonna lie, the first few weeks will be tough. It will suck. You’re going to want to quit. Yeah running is simple, but it’s not easy.
You have to train yourself to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You have to learn to push yourself when you want to quit. You’re not only training your body, you’re training your mind.
Trust me on this: it will all be worth it.
After a few weeks, you’ll begin seeing results. Not only will you lose weight, you’ll notice improvements in nearly every aspect of your life, and running will become addicting.
When you learn to push past the limitations you’ve placed on yourself, you’ll soon find that you are truly capable of achieving anything you desire.
Running is running. There really isn’t a wrong way to do it. It doesn’t matter how fast you go, how far you go, or if you run solo or with friends. All that matters is that you’re out there.
Just run. And kiss the quarantine-15 goodbye!