A lot of people, usually non-runners, are so amazed that I can run! I sometimes try to convince them that they can too–I have two secrets that I bestow on those awestrucks–but they hardly ever believe me. It’s like they think runners are a special breed of human. But really! You need an incremental training plan and a running partner. Shoes optional.
I’m not going to go into the simple training strategy that got me from barely being able to run for two minutes to running 26.2 miles straight. I want to talk about the little bit of magic that is the running partner. I’ve mentioned it before, but as I was running on my own while my running partner was sick a few weeks ago, I had a revelation.
Some days I really need Sarah, but some days, I really need to run on my own.
I’d say more often, it’s the former, but the latter affords the opportunity to see where you’re truly at. My Number 1 Main Hurdle to running or working out regularly is ME. I am really great at talking myself out of a run. I mean it. I’m a pro. But knowing that Sarah is waiting for me at the park, that she got up this morning to run. With me. It really holds me accountable. Maybe not everyone needs that, but if you are having trouble sticking to your routine, then maybe you need someone to count on you too.
Once you’ve established your routine and you won’t skip out on run just because your running partner won’t be there, go for a run on your own.
When you’re on your own, you get to put yourself to the test. Your mental strength is an important part of running. When you run alone, you get to see how strong you are becoming. Sometimes, I hear Sarah pushing me on. Sometimes, I push myself. But either way, I find out what works when I want to quit. I can’t run every race or every run even with Sarah, so it’s important to know that I can do it.
So go ahead, get started. Find someone who shares your goals or at least your pace. Set up an incremental training plan. Run with your partner for a while, then run alone a couple times a month to see how strong you’ve become.