This Wednesday is National Running day, a day which is all about–you guessed it–running. Five years ago, this would have irritated me, as someone who had hated running for about two decades and, as a result, had also hated my body because I thought it would never let me become a runner. But then I discovered a secret: There’s no such thing as “runners” and “non-runners.” Regardless of your body type or ability, you can become a runner.
Growing up in Eugene, Oregon (the home of Nike and U of O’s legendary track team where Steve Prefontaine found fame, also known as Track Town, USA), I hated everything about the sport. I was chubby, slow, thick-legged, and short–I pretty much had the opposite of a “runner’s body.” But then my dad, who is strong but definitely also not “build like a runner,” started running to keep in shape, and at 19 years old I realized that just because I wasn’t shaped like a Kenyan didn’t mean I couldn’t be a runner.
So I started running. And, to my own surprise, I actually liked it. And I think you could, too.
These tips are based on what I learned. All of them may not work for every person–but I bet some of them will work for you. And they aren’t even limited to able-bodied people; those are recovering from an injury, who use a wheelchair, or have other physical barriers can find motivation and endurance-building tools from these tips, even if the end result isn’t actually running, perse.
Of course, running isn’t for everyone. But if you’re interested in dipping a toe into the joy of running (or at least, trying to hate running less), here’s my best advice. And, as always, add anything I missed into the comments.
Happy running day!
Image: olly via Shutterstock