Running for Beginners

Running for Beginners

By Kelsey Lyons

Treadmill? More like “dreadmill.” I have to say, in my experience running has been a blessing, but my love for running didn’t start on the treadmill. I started running a few years ago and not once did I run on the treadmill. I started with road running, it started as more of a power walk than a run, but I slowly got into the swing of things and it’s now become something that I truly love doing. I know first-hand that running can be tough at first, but Pan Am athlete Sasha Gollish shares her tips and tricks to running for beginners.

Q and A with Sasha Gollish:

What’s the first step for someone who would like to start running?

“The first step is to commit yourself to doing it. Putting it in your schedule to make it actually happen, actually block that time off on your calendar so that you don’t make an excuse to do something else.”

“The number one thing is be easy with yourself, you see people out there and they’re jogging and it looks so easy, and it’s not. It takes a lot of time to get to running consistently. First thing to do is try and run for 30 seconds and then honestly those first couple runs, take as much time walking as you need.”

How can they make sure they keep up with their running and not give up?

“Setting goals. If you want to be able to run 5 km, pick your favourite charity or pick your favourite area to run and sign up for a run in the area. Number two is find a group. When you’re accountable to go run with someone, you’re not going to hit snooze, you’re not going to find an excuse to stay home. You’re accountable to someone else to show up and be there. So if you set goals and surround yourself with good people, you’re definitely more inclined to stick with the running.”

Gollish stresses that it’s important to find a routine and stick with it. You need to find out what works for you and you can accomplish this by reflecting on your runs. Ask yourself, ‘Did that work for me? Am I more of a morning runner or an evening one?’ This will help you make changes to your routine that will help make running a habit for you and not something you dread.

Why do you think it’s important to run?

“I think running is one of those unique things that you can kind of do anywhere, anytime. You can pack your running clothes and tie your shoes to your backpack and bring them anywhere and I think it’s a unique way to see a city. Once you sort of get in the routine and you block off that 20-30 minutes a day, it’s amazing how much more efficient you actually become at work. It makes you feel so much better about everything you’re doing.”

Treadmill vs. trail/road running?

“I personally prefer trail running. I live in Toronto, it’s a busy city and we’re really fortunate to have this ravine network where I can go off and I call it playing the trail and all of a sudden the city is silent. You pass other walkers and cyclists and runners out there and it’s kind of a secret community where you all support each other. But it also depends on personal preference and what works for you. If you’re motivated to get out there and get on the treadmill, or if you prefer the road because you see more people, awesome, or if you prefer the quiet and tranquility then maybe the trails are for you. And there’s nothing wrong with blending all three.”

Do the clothes you wear matter?

“The outside can inspire the inside and if you have an outfit that makes you feel beautiful and great on the inside out, I think it’s going to make you stick with it. So for running, go out and buy that outfit that makes you feel beautiful and you’re going to want to run because you spent all this money on this outfit, but you’re [also] going to feel great in it. Even on those days when it’s really tough to start running, hopefully it helps you get through.”

Gollish says that when you’re new to running you don’t feel great at first but once you start getting into that routine, all of a sudden you start to feel weightless and light and you start to see why everyone loves it.

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