Run Clinic: ‘I’ve started running again and I can’t bear it. Help’
Expect it to be very difficult in the first few weeks, but follow a few simple tips and it will get much easier
Once you get back to being able to run 5k comfortably without stopping, your confidence will grow and setting out on your runs will feel more like second nature and less like walking onto a stage naked. And you will start to reap the rewards. That spare tyre will shrink with every run done. But none of it is easy and there are no short cuts.
To get to this place – of running 5k comfortably – requires hard work and commitment and it takes time. So don’t expect miracles in the first couple of weeks. Expect it to hurt. Expect it to be hard. And then remind yourself that hard is the new black.
Run as early/late as possible if it’s hot and certainly avoid running between 11am-3pm; jog in areas where you are not going to run into people who make you feel inferior. Run where nobody else goes if it helps. Running very early or very late is also a great way to avoid the masses and bikini gambollers.
Distract yourself from what is putting you off and knocking your confidence. Think deeply about that fantasy project you have been dreaming about starting, that new career, emigrating to Australia, or just redecorating the spare room; or plug yourself into an iPod, and drown out the outside world with stories or music or Run Fat Bitch Run on audio if you have masochistic tendencies – listen to whatever floats your boat and helps get the job done.
Wear loose, light coloured clothing, a cap and sunnies (sensible but also helps allay the embarrassment factor and obscures peripheral vision whilst making you look like a celeb – all good).
Run at least three times a week. Twice a week is not going to cut it and will always have you feeling that running is a chore because it will never become a habit when practised so infrequently.
Never use other people’s stares as a reason not to go running. If they are looking at you (and they almost certainly are not), it is only ever in admiration.
The Grit Doctor says:
Recalibrate your expectations. You are trying to create a new, fantastically positive habit for yourself – for the rest of your life. And new habits take time to bed in, so give it chance to take root.