Home > Uncategorized > Want to run? Just do it.

Want to run? Just do it.

The number one question I get asked about running is, “How’d you start?” I’ve gotten this from strangers, friends, and family (who can sometimes be strangers). It’s a question that runners ask runners. The answer often begins with, “Well, I wanted to lose weight for my wedding, so I started running.” However, that’s not completely true.

I guess you could say I was a runner before I called myself a runner, but I couldn’t commit to it. When I was in high school in the mid-1990s, I ran track on and off for about three years. I would always begin a season of indoor track, only to stop when winter break would hit. That didn’t mean I sat around and did nothing. I play rec league basketball through my senior year, so even then I was running. In my junior year in high school I ran a year of outdoor track, often finishing in the back for the mile or two-mile events. I never cared about placement — I was having fun. And looking back on those years, I set PRs that I’ll never come close to again.

But what about today? I wish people would ask, “How’d you restart running?”I just did it. It’s that simple. At the beginning of 2004, I stepped on a scale for the first time in years. I was nearly 220 pounds. I was getting married six months later. I wanted something to change. I didn’t like forcing myself to exercise. I wanted something easy, like it was when I was a teen. But I knew “easy” wasn’t going to happen. So on Jan. 1 of that year, I went out for a walk and ran a little bit. The next day, I took the same course and ran just a little bit longer. That patterned continued for about a week when next thing I knew the weight was coming off and I could complete a workout totally running.

There’s much more to this story (and a LOT of nutrition changes that I made), but this isn’t about me. What about you? How do you start? Or if you used to run, how do you restart? You just do it. Find a few blocks near your house and run only a portion of them, and make it a goal to go a little farther each day. If you live in Lynchburg, go to the Blackwater Creek Bikeway, and walk a half mile, then run a quarter mile. Turn around and walk three quarters of a mile. Extend that quarter mile just a little bit each time you go out. In order to run, you have to take small steps.

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