Prioritize. Whatever life balance you are trying to juggle, you can always find time for at least a short run. Remember, you are taking care of yourself so you can better take care of those you love. Every time you lace up your shoes and head out the door, you will get fitter. You will be happier for it and—a nice side benefit—so will everyone else in your life.
Let go of judgment. You will look bad while you run, so get over it now. Sweat, messy hair and jiggly bits are all part of the package. Do not concern yourself with others' opinions. In all honestly, they are thinking, "Wow, I wish I could do that!"
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Find company. Network with other runners; they will be your best source of both information and support. While there is nothing like the meditation of running, long runs are best shared with friends. Join a running club. Ask around at your gym to find a running buddy. Make regular dates and keep your commitment.
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Listen to your body. You will find all sorts of conflicting advice in the world of running. Overall, follow your own physical cues. If you are feeling extra sore, take a day off. If you continue to feel poorly, cut back your mileage. It's important to allow yourself time to rest to grow stronger. Alternatively, if you are feeling good during a particular run, push a little harder with some speed work.
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Eat for fitness. There are a multitude of nutritional philosophies. One point cannot be argued: junk food is junk. Treat yourself to healthy whole foods and keep the bad stuff out of the house entirely. Beyond this basic advice, again, listen to your body. Find what works and keep it simple.
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Get determined. On certain days, you will rebel mentally. You won't feel like logging any miles. You will start to listen to the negative thoughts running through your mind. Run anyway, even if it's shorter or slower. I'll bet you once your body starts moving, it won't feel like work. Some runs will feel harder than others and that's OK. Do your best and know there's always tomorrow.
You did it! Welcome to the ranks, runner! Enjoy your new lifestyle. Celebrate your accomplishments and set new goals. If at any point your efforts get sidelined, know you can always start again, step by step. Once you taste the benefits running brings to your life, I guarantee you won't want to go anywhere but forward.
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