How to become a Runner?

About 15 years ago I used to hate running. I was always so tired afterwards, my legs were hurting. It was never easygoing and it didn`t give me any enjoyment. I assumed: Running is not my kind of sport.

But suddenly it happened: I read a good article about running and realized that even whole books are written about this subject. That made me curious because I didn’t have any clue how somebody could fill a book just with information about running. I bought the book (1) and got hooked (and even finished my running coach education later).

Following the expert`s suggestion, I started running alternated with walking and could see and feel results after a short time. Even better: I enjoyed it. After going for a run I felt energized and happy.

What I (and maybe others, as well) did wrong at the beginning, was trying to keep up with a faster partner without listening to my body. Following the pace of your running partner means that you probably will not enjoy the experience.

In order to make your start as a runner a pleasant experience I created 8 tips that will help you at the beginning:

  1. No fancy equipment is needed for your first run. Choose some sport shoes, a shirt and track pants. That’s enough. Later on you should definitely invest in some good running shoes according to your weight, goal, running style and foot type.
  2. Do your first runs or walks alone, this gives you the opportunity to focus on your needs (speed, pause, duration).
  3. Start slowly: Start with brisk walking and include a couple of times 1-2 min slow jogging. This does not have to be faster than your walking speed. Just by switching from walking to jogging you change technique and increase intensity already, which requires adaptation.
  4. Don’t overdo the duration for your first sessions, 20-25 min are a great start. If it was not exhausting at all, you did it perfectly right.
  5. Best result, lowest risk: Start with 2 sessions a week, that’s perfect to get a good benefit without an increased risk of injury.
  6. Stay curious: Try to figure out different routes every week so you can choose and avoid boredom.
  7. Increase slowly: Increase your workload by not more than 10% of duration or distance every week, to avoid injury and overload. If you do 4 km in total in your first week, you can increase to 4.4 km in the second week (40 min à 44 min).
  8. Refuel with Happiness: Enjoy the time for yourself, your thoughts, be aware of your surroundings, hear the birds singing, and enjoy your freedom and the knowledge that your body will get stronger and fitter every time!

Just remember every kilometer you walk or jog is a kilometer, independent of the time you need!

(1) Unfortunately this book only available in German Language:

Matthias Marquardt 2017: Die Laufbibel (The Running Bible). 17th Edition. Spomedis. (Kindle or Hardcover)

Further Reading-Recommendations:

Max Everett (2016): Running: A Beginner’s Guide on how to start Running for Health, Fitness and Mental Toughness. (Kindle or Paperback)

K. P. Foster: (2015): Running for Beginners: A Guide to Successful Running for Health, Fitness and Pleasure. (Paperback)

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