"You don't have to be great to start."
A fitting foundational quote for my starting a blog.
I am by no means a writer, in fact the worst grade that I got in college was in my Freshman lit/composition course.
But, as we have been reminded of recently by the Great Michael Jordan- failure is why we succeed.
Maybe it was my failure in composition, in combination with utter frustration for invisible numbers that led me to a degree in Health & Physical Education. It was that or the realization that I could live the rest of my life in workout attire talking about the enjoyment and lifelong impact of movement, that landed me here talking at you. I digress. If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a sense for who I am. My name is Rebeka Stowe. I am a runner, coach, partner, teacher, friend, runner, amateur philosopher, coach, daughter, learner, runner, coach. If that summary does not do it for you, feel free to reach out and give me more direct speaking points. Seriously, please, I’ll be in need of new blog content as I have committed to producing one of these every month for the next year. (May 2021 or bust!)
Should we get into our actual talking point and topic for this post?
Coach Stowe’s Top 3 Tips for New Runners
1. Get Started.
Start. As our quote above reminds us, “you don’t have to be great to start.”
Just get out the door. Pick a loop around your neighborhood. Run to the corner store and back. I could care less about your distance and pace. Just lace up your shoes and start.
Then stick with it. Be intentional about creating a routine that works for you. Make sure it is manageable, appropriate and realistic. If you’ve never run more than 4 miles, maybe don’t start by signing up for a Marathon. If you only run 3 times a month, don’t decide out of the blue you’re going to run every single day this month. Let’s be real with ourselves. What can you commit to and follow through with. Yes, challenge yourself. Don’t make it an easy win, that’s bullshit. No one actually wants an easy win. We are people who flippin’ love challenges. Like seriously, would you ever sit down and watch a movie with a summary that said, “This movie chronicles the life of young Melody Farmer who loved music and wanted to become a famous musician. She went on to practice one day every week and got into the school of her dreams with no struggle at all, then went on to sign a contract with the top music label in the country her first day after graduation.” I think not. That’s the most boring story ever and it would be done in 5 minutes- it would also never happen. In summary, what I am saying is, get started, set an appropriately challenging goal, and then don’t forget that challenge is part of challenge and it is going to take time to accomplish.
2. Gear Up
Go out and get yourself some bomb@$$ gear. Seriously though, the right fit of shoe can make all the difference. I have seen injuries avoided or remedied, just by changing an athletes shoes. My top tip - make sure you have a thumbnail’s length of room at the front of the shoe and that the toe box is wide enough for you. This may mean you need to go up a few half sizes. You want your foot to have space to breath. Speaking of breathing, I recommend getting a pair of socks that is a polyester/nylon blend.
Check out a run speciality shop or talk to your PT to help you make the right decision (Yes, you ought to get a PT - they are some of the best people you’ll ever cross paths with - DM me if you need a recommendation).
3. Inspiration & Accountability
Finally, engage with inspiration and set up accountability. This might take a bit of self reflection. What inspires you? What structure and system of accountability will provide you the greatest chance for success? Is it meeting up with a group of people? Is it hiring a coach to direct you? Do you just need one friend to do a quick, “yep, I ran, did you?” Maybe you’re even good with a few Kudos on Strava to keep you going. Let’s be honest. At the end of the day, you have to answer to you and that’s all.
Be yourself, do your thing! (per GIF above)
Figure out what YOU need and stick with it. Consistency is key.
It’s the name of the game. Consistency in purposeful work over time leads to growth.
So, what are you going to do now?
I hope your answer is lacing up and walking out the door.
And do me a favor, leave the phone, music, world, stress, bullshit behind when you go.
In love and light.