My 2012 Running Rules

I can’t believe this year is ending. For me, it has been a year full of amazing accomplishments and substantial learning experiences. What has 2012 taught me about running? Well, considering it all, I have learned quite a bit. I’ve learned about setting goals, achieving PR’s, injury and recovery, and returning to the joy of the run. By no means am I a professional. I just run. But, I’ve worked up a few of my best tips to help you get started, or continue, or re-start your running hobby.

Rule #1. Educate, educate, educate. 
Read all you can. There are so many opinions, so many options, and so much to learn. Don’t go out there cold turkey. And don’t just read one option or opinion and think that is the one for you. I can’t stress this enough. My favorite sources are Runner’s World Magazine and ChiRunning. I highly suggest them both.

Rule #2. Determine your goals.
If you just want to run, then run. Don’t look too deep into it. If you want to improve, i.e. run further or run faster or both, then defer to Rule #1. Journal your experience on paper or in a blog. The more you record, the more you’ll remember and the more you’ll be able to look back and make corrections.

Rule #3. Take it slow.
You can’t expect miracles overnight. Improvement comes with time and effort. If you want to get better, you have to work at it.

Rule #4. Find your gear.
Don’t ask the question “What sneakers do you recommend?” Instead, go to a specialty running store and get fitted. The service is free and invaluable. Find the pair that works for you. Not the pair that works for your running pal.

Rule #5. Learn how to pat yourself on the back.
You will learn quickly that you are your biggest fan, and you are your biggest critic. Every day that you get out there and run is a good day. Every run is a good run. Every attempt is to be applauded. Every experience is a learned one.

Rule #6. Find comradeship in running.
This can be anyone, whether you know them personally or not. If you like to run with friends, find friends to run with. If you prefer to run alone, follow blogs of fellow runners. It’s like having virtual running buddies whom you can relate to without having to connect with, if you prefer not to.

Rule #7. Don’t underestimate yourself.
You are capable of so many things. You have the right to be proud of everything you attempt and accomplish. But, don’t be afraid to push yourself. If it isn’t your thing, then pull back. At least give it the ol’ college try.

Rule #8. Remember why you are out there.
Is is because you love the run? Is it to challenge yourself? Is it to get away? Is it to get out of the house? Is it to lose weight? Is it to get healthy? Whatever the reason, remember it. Then figure out what your second reason is. Because if the first isn’t working for you one day, pulling out the second can help you to get out the door.

Rule #9. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch.

Rule #10. Just run.
The rest will follow.

Happy New Year to everyone. May 2013 take you down the roads less traveled!


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