004: 4 Myths New Runners Need to Stop Telling Themselves




1. “I’m not in shape.”

I hear this one a lot from people who want to start running. To be honest, it confuses me a little bit. Isn’t being in bad shape the whole reason you want to start running in the first place?

Most people I know started their running ‘career’ in terrible shape, myself included. Even people coming from a different fitness background (like weightlifting for me) still struggled on their first run. Running is not something that just comes easily at first. No matter your fitness level, it’s going to be difficult at first.

No one was able to crush a 20 mile run their first time out. Similarly, most people struggle to finish one mile without stopping on their first run. If your goal is to get in better shape, go run. Don’t let it be the reason you don’t.

The starting point for getting in better shape will always be the shape you’re in now. It makes no sense to use ‘being out of shape’ as an excuse for why you can’t go get in shape.

2. “I’m not a Runner.”

When I first started running, I didn’t consider myself a runner at all. In my mind, I was an injured weightlifter who just needed a temporary outlet. I was slow, heavy, and could barely run more than a half-mile without nearing total exhaustion. I think everyone has their own version of “I’m not a runner.”.

“I’m super slow.” “I can barely run more than a mile.” “I’m really out of shape.”

New runners tend to automatically exclude themselves just because they’re getting started. But that’s where they’re wrong.

Being a runner isn’t about how far you run, how fast you run, or even how long you’ve been running. It’s about the fact that you’re running in the first place. If you are out there trying to better yourself, you are a runner.

3. “I need a new ______ first.”

The beauty of running is that you don’t really need much to get started. A pair of shorts, a tee-shirt and a pair of athletic shoes will do it. Sure, it might help to have a nice pair of running shoes, but they’re not required. And certainly not when you’re just getting started. (Some people even run barefoot!)

Running is a function of being a human being — just about anyone can do it. We’re all born with the innate ability to run without anyone teaching us how. And more importantly, without any expensive gear, gadgets, or gizmos.

Don’t get overwhelmed by getting the latest shoes, shirts, or gadgets. Just go out and run. Enjoy the time to yourself. Eventually better gear may help. But don’t let the lack of it be what stops you from getting started in the first place.

4. “I barely made it a mile.”

As new runners, we over-obsess on the distance of our runs. When we finish short or see someone else running farther, we tend to get discouraged.

That’s the wrong mentality have. As mentioned earlier, running is going to be difficult in the beginning — regardless of your starting fitness level. It takes time to get in better shape and build the endurance needed for longer runs.

So don’t focus on distance — It’s a poor metric when you’re just getting started. Instead, focus building momentum with small wins. Did you put on your running shoes today? Were you able to run for 5 mins? The fact that you even made it out the door is something to be celebrated.

Being a runner isn’t about how far you run, how fast you run, or even how long you’ve been running. It’s about the fact that you’re running in the first place. If you are out there trying to better yourself, you are a runner. Take pride in the fact that you are in pursuit of the better version of yourself.

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