Updated: Apr 21
Here's how we can tell if a beginner runner is going to learn to love running, and stick with it!
Beginners graduation run, June 2021
How many times have you tried to start running??
How long did you last before it got too hard, you got injured or you lost motivation??
Since we started our Beginners ONLY running program in 2018, we have seen over 160 runners who had never run further than for the bus, who had never been taught how to run, who had such a great fear of running, they had actively avoided it at all costs, and who's kids now also avoid running because of their apprehension.
Of those 160, there are a handful who complete the 8-week program, and still decide running isn't their sport, and that is totally fine! They now know they've given it their best, and it's not for them. The majority however, have reaped the reward of finding running EASY, of getting that runners HIGH, of having the CONFIDENCE to join a sport, or take their kids for a run!
When our founder, Claire, took up running at 22 years old, she had never been taught how to run properly, how to slowly build the distance, how to avoid injury or how to love running. But there was something inside her that knew that once she got over those first few hurdles, she would keep coming back for more...and she did!
Here we share the top 5 secrets we use to tell which beginner runners are not only going to stick with running, but learn to LOVE running forevermore!
Secret #1 - They have a problem that needs solving
There is a burning desire to learn how to run, usually intrinsic. Meaning they are learning to run for the fun or challenge entailed rather than because of external pressures, or rewards. This deep desire has been forming over some time. Some motivations we hear are:
"I see my kids running around and playing, and I want to join in the fun!"
"I have been fit in other ways, but running is the one thing I have never been able to conquer on my own. I start too hard and end up injured or burnt out."
"I am jealous of the running community my friends are in. I want to join them, but I don't have the fitness, or confidence to get involved"
How to solve your problem in 3 steps:
Create autonomy - take control of your running journey. Select a program or method that aligns with your values and suits your schedule
Search for mastery - your program needs to be the right balance of challenging, but achievable to stay motivated to stick with it. Here's a hot tip...
RUNNING IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE HARD. Read that again. You will start running further, faster and over different terrains to continue to make it challenging but achievable! Don't forget to look back and recognise your achievements!
3. Find a community - weather it's online, with a group, or with a friend or two, having a community to be accountable to, and supported by can make or break your journey (see number 3)
Secret #2 - They have an open mind
This might not be their first attempt at taking up running. However, they turn up with an open mind ready to learn, and leaving past experiences behind them.
You don't know, what you don't know. Most people who take up running didn't realise there is more involved than left foot, right foot, repeat. Learning to run efficiently will help you to run with ease, for a long time to come.
Some surprising facts for the new runner:
Running is a full body exercise, head position, shoulders, elbows and hips are just as important as what your feet are doing.
You have to push backwards, to propel forwards
Gravity is your best friend, work with it, not against it!
Breathing effectively can make or break your ability to run continuously with ease and efficiency.
Secret #3 - They make quick friends
Whether they sign up with a friend or make another nervous friend at the first group session, having a buddy through your beginner journey can make or break the experience...why?? Picture this....
It's cold, it's dark and you've been swamped at work all day. All you want to do is curl up on the couch with a glass of red and Netflix... even though you know you won't regret going to training, you don't have the motivation to make it happen. Until you hear your phone ping:
"Hey mate, I've had a shocker of a day at work, can't wait to run away from it! Pick you up at 6:45pm?"
Busted...so you drag on your shoes and get ready. You don't have to overthink it, because your friend or coach is there to guide you. All you need to do is keep your head up, and put one foot in front of the other with your mates. Before you know it, you are home, eating dinner, buzzing off endorphins!
Do you have a friend in mind who could join you on your running journey?
Secret #4 - They follow a program
You can't manage what you can't measure. Starting your running journey without a plan, is like letting a 5 year old loose in the kitchen to cook dinner unsupervised!
Characteristics of a good program:
Progressive - your first couple of weeks should start off easy, think 2 running sessions of no more than 15-20 minutes of run/walk intervals. It may progress to running continuously for up to 30 mins over an 8 week period
Technique focussed - you should be learning how to run, not just smashing your cardiovascular fitness. Correct technique reduces injury risk and enhances efficiency
Comprehensive - a complete program should include mobility and strength training to build a well rounded runner. The time commitment to these don't need to be huge, but these training competencies will enhance running technique and durability.
Secret #5 - They practice progress over perfection
Life happens. Illness, travel, work and family commitments can sometimes get in the way. Even if your 8 week program takes you 12 weeks to complete, make sure you finish it!
Running doesn't need to be perfect, but consistency, and commitment is important to stay on track and continue ingraining the habit.
Over to you...
Now you know what to do....what are YOU going to do to make it happen??
One thing you can do to get you off to the right start, is join our 8 week beginners only program! We run 5-6 programs per year, we'll do all the leg work for you. You just need to turn up:
Absolute beginners – no prior experience or fitness level necessary
Non-intimidating environment with like minded running buddies
8 weeks and 2 sessions per week
Limited to 8 runners per program
The aim is to run 30 minutes continuously in 8 weeks time!
Free singlet or t-shirt on completion!