The idea of being a beginner runner might be daunting if you are completely new to running, but if you’re considering it, I have to tell you: I am SO excited for you!
Being able to lead moms to running, or to getting stronger with their running, has been such a gift! I am so grateful for all of you who have allowed me to be a part of your journey, and today I want to speak to those of you who are at the very start of your journey.
Whenever we start a new challenge or a new season, we have moms from all over the running map.
Some moms are getting back into running after years away, some moms have been running for awhile and are trying to get faster, and we have brand-new runners, ready to run their first race ever!
When we first began, the stories were incredible, and I’d love to share just a bit from way back in the spring of 2018….
Not that it’s all about me, but if you’ll indulge me for a minute, I just have to say: it’s the beginner runners that put me over the edge. I’m a sap, I admit it, but just right now, typing this, I get a lump in my throat. So many moms who said, “Okay, Cori, I’ll try,” but with such hesitation and doubt. And me, saying either out loud, or to myself silently, “I got you. You can do this.”
Then came race day. March 11th in Indiana is certainly a hit-or-miss time of year. No one would have been surprised if it had been 70 that day, and no one was surprised when it rolled around and it was… 25 degrees.
I waited for the texts to roll in. It was so cold! I was sure we’d have at least one cancelation, if not a whole slew of them.
But what happened? Every. Single. Mom. Showed. Up!
And not only did they show up, they rocked that race! Everyone ran stronger than they thought they would. Everyone finished, and everyone came away totally pumped to set new goals and look to their next races!
When I started Mom’s Running Club, of course I had a vision. Being a runner myself, I love the running community. I love running. I love it for clearing my head, challenging me, empowering me, and of course keeping me healthy. I love rubbing elbows with runners. I love talking about running.
My hope and my vision and my prayer was this: do whatever I can do to support moms to their first (or best) race finish. Because I knew that that feeling would motivate them to keep setting new goals. Essentially: let running, and the running community, work its magic.
And it’s working! They continue to take on new goals, with passion and excitement and enthusiasm and commitment! They’re all committed to making their own health and fitness and joy and confidence a priority now!
So today, I’d like to just share what I think were some essential elements that helped these moms experience success, way back as we were beginning.
Because those simple tips are relevant for every beginner runner!
And whether or not you consider joining us, if you’re a beginner runner, you too can find that commitment to you and to your happiness and health. It’s become really clear what beginner-runner-moms need to succeed.
Quick and Simple Tips for the Beginner Runner:
#1: Be sure you’re working with a program that will help you experience success!
Simply put: don’t try to go too hard, too fast! That’s a rookie mistake, and you’re no rookie! So often, we want results, right now. Running will get you amazing and wonderful results, from better physical health to better mental health to new friendships, but that’s only if you stick with it. So be sure to find a program that works for you! Mom’s Running Club offers a variety of options and I’d love to take more about it with you, but you can easily find programs on Pinterest or online. An easy rule of thumb: if it feels easy as you’re getting going, then it is the right program. You can run injury-free, and if you start easy, you increase the chances of doing so!
#2: Safety first!
Whatever gear you choose, always be mindful of your terrain and your surroundings. I am a 5:00 AM runner, and so I try to be very careful about where I am running and what I am wearing. In the winter, you may be dealing with ice and snow, so when that’s the case, change your stride or your speed to be sure you don’t slip or fall. In addition, be sure to wear plenty of reflective gear if you run in the dark, or bright-colored gear even for the daytime runs.
#3: For best results: find a running group or partner.
Do not ignore this one! (Okay, don’t ignore any of them, they’re all kinda essential, but this one is the game-changer!)
We all do better when we’re socially motivated and held accountable, especially busy moms who can think of a million things we “should” be doing other than taking care of ourselves. If you’re not already a member of Mom’s Running Club, I’d love to connect with you about it, but you can also find running groups in your local community. Call your local gym or YMCA, or try a search on social media. There is magic in connecting with like-minded moms who, even though we put family first, we know the importance of taking good care of us, so that we can better care for those we love!
#4: Warm up, dynamic stretch, cool down, static stretch.
As our current members know, runners experience tweaks. We’ve all had our share of injuries and little areas of discomfort this season. But two things you want to remember about injuries and tweaks are first: even young, strong high school runners experience them, so it sure isn’t an age thing and it sure doesn’t mean we should not run.
And second: would you rather be an athlete with an ache and pain here and there from pushing your body and getting stronger and healthier and fitter, or would you rather be a couch potato with an ache and pain here and there from being out of shape? Yeah, you don’t have to answer that, I am pretty sure I know your response.
Part of the Mom’s Running Club curriculum includes cross training and injuries prevention and management, but if you’re going it on your own, please at least follow these simple guidelines.
Gone are the days of stretching before you begin a workout! Especially if you work in a job that involves sitting, be sure to take the time to loosen up those muscles, then open up those joints with some dynamic stretching, prior to your workout.
Afterwards, spend five minutes or so in a relaxed walk to cool down, and then do your long, static stretches. Your legs will thank you and be ready sooner for the next run!
These simple four guidelines will serve you well if you’re considering beginning running.
There are so many more elements you could focus on- nutrition, cross training, rest, to name a few- but to keep it simple, if you focus only on these, you’ll be in pretty great shape as you get moving.
Running is a blessing to busy moms in so many ways. It’s a natural stress reliever. It can be a way to connect with others. It’s a way to enjoy the outdoors, unplug, and get your head straight. And of course, it’s an inexpensive, ever-available way to get fit and stay fit.
Have questions? Email me here! Or, click share and recruit your best girlfriends!
And if you’d like to go deeper, you can always check out our Guide to Becoming a Runner! This guide was created to answer all your questions and get you moving!
But never forget: whether you join us or not, you deserve to feel strong, healthy, confident, and connected. Take time for you. You’re worth it.