That’s great! Just like 64,17 million people in 2016¹ you made the wonderful right decision to start running 5K. This is really exciting! You’ve decided to make a very important change in your life, one that will improve so many things: health, energy, mood, body, self-esteem, just to mention a few.
It’s THE super important very first step.
But, just like you shouldn’t go to the beach without using a Sun Block because you would end up getting burned, you shouldn’t start running before taking care of a few things, or you may get hurt.
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy
- Medical Exams: please make sure you get your heart, blood pleasure and all aspects of your health for that matter, checked by a trustworthy professional.
This is essential. You don’t want to realize that you put yourself in danger, down the road. Do the right thing.
- Appropriate material: to get the best results, you’ll need the correct material. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. Just right.
1. Running shoes – there´s an enormous quantity of options on the market. One could easily get overwhelmed and give up on the first visit to the store. Calm down, stay focused! All you need is to first identify your foot type (normal arch, flat arch, and high arch are the most common ones, but there are variations).
TIP: A specialist at a running store can help you identifying that by asking you questions about your history, injuries, or even by watching you running (come on don’t be shy! It’s just a little run at the store…).
TIP: Don’t ever buy running shoes before trying them on and actually running with them. I know it sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who just won’t do it! Another thing: prioritize comfort over looks. Wearing trendy colorful but uncomfortable running shoes can be a real nightmare!
2. Sports clothing – there are all types of running clothes, from the simplest polyester and/or cotton shorts to more modern high-compression shirts, shorts or pants. Before deciding what you’re going to buy, you need to consider some important factors: the weather (in case you’re running outdoors), your preference for loose or tighter clothes, not to mention preferred colors and materials. The truth is that the industry behind activewear is huge as it appeals both to the sporting aspect and the fashion one. Over the years these clothes became more and more trendy.
3. Accessories – this is not a must. One can – very well – start to run with their pair of running shoes and an appropriate sports cloth. But there are some really nice accessories that help tons in keeping track of your evolution and make it much easier to identify what you should do next to achieve your goals. I’m talking about some devices like an Activity Tracker (Garmin), Running Sunglasses and many others. You can check some of my suggestions on the “Running Products Menu”.
- Set your goals: take a few minutes to think about this. What’s your actual situation on the running field and where Do you want to be in let’s say, 2 months, 6 months, or even 1 year from now? Write down, if you wish (I would if I were you because it helps you remember your target).
And most importantly, think about WHY you want to do this. What’s your motive? What are the benefits? What are the negative consequences if you don’t achieve your goals? Write those reasons down as well.
TIP: When things get a little tough, or demotivation comes, you can them to remind yourself why you started this journey to start with. I actually read my goals, why’s and why not’s every day, and I find them very helpful.
- Create a plan: Decide – in advance – the details of your plan. Where are you going to train? What time? Are you going to have company or not? How are you going to get there? Are you going to start walking? Or are you going to mix walking – running? Are you going to take you iPod with you and listen to your favorite songs or are you going to take the time to do your prayers?
TIP: Plans are important to give you a path but remember it’s OK to make adjustments along the way. E.g.: After a one-week training, instead of listening to Pop Music, you may decide to start listening to Podcasts, if that works better for you.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
¹according to www.statista.com