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5 Running tips for beginners (or re-starters)

5 Running tips for beginners (or re-starters)

Janette Shearer began her running journey after getting kicked out of a neighbourhood jogging group. In 2016, when the other Moms told her she was too slow, Janette knew she could prove them wrong. Since then, she has completed five Sun Runs and several other 10 kms, two half marathons and is currently training to conquer her first full marathon. She also leads running groups. I was inspired by Janette’s training when I re-committed to jogging after four years of inconsistency. I commented on her story asking about a route she ran and Janette invited me to join her. So I laced up and did my first ever running interview, an awesome, even-paced 7.5 kms. Mid-sweat, Janette shared her tips for getting into running or coming back after a long hiatus (or in my case, a child-sized interruption). 

5 Running tips for beginner Moms

1. Know your WHY

Before you decide to become a runner, she recommends have a good hard think about why you want to start. If weight loss is your goal, think about a holistic plan that includes running. Ensure you’re running for the right reasons, both physical and mental. Janette’s initial WHY was because she wanted to improve her lifestyle, feel healthy and enjoy being active with her two daughters. 

>> Three running routes that end in a treat!

2. Set realistic goals

Setting out to run 10 km on your first jog isn’t realistic. Signing up for a half marathon before ever putting runners on isn’t either. Start small and understand that running looks different for everyone. It can be a slow, walk/run combo for 2 km, three times a week until you feel ready to add that third kilometre. Choose a big, stretch goal but set small attainable, milestones along the way. 

3. Find Support

This can be in the form of a running buddy, a running group or even an accountability partner. Having a person or a group of people working alongside you to achieve similar goals will offer an outlet for advice, sharing achievements and on those days you don’t want to put your runners on, encouragement. Janette is now a Clinic Coordinator in East Vancouver for SportMedBC and leads three groups for a variety of fitness levels. The relationships she’s formed through running have been a valuable part of her experience. 

4. Wardrobe

You do NOT need expensive, high performance gear to start running. Running is a low investment, accessible form of exercise so let’s keep it that way! Janette recommends workout gear from Old Navy. A good pair of inexpensive runners are sufficient to get you going until you’re ready to make a commitment and set a distance goal like 5 or 10 km. Not shelling out big bucks for your running wardrobe will take the pressure off. Fashion does not equal faster.

>> Five local run clubs to get you motivated

5. Celebrate

Runner’s high is a real thing. When you finish a run you’re sweaty and tired but the endorphins are flowing. Keep the high going by sharing your achievements with your family and friends. Often we set expectations for the people in our lives without letting them know we’d like to be supported. If you find verbal encouragement the best for you, tell them you’d like to be asked about your run, congratulated and told how proud they are of you. Or on days when you do a new longer run, you’d like a special dinner when you finish. Running can be a very individual effort so be sure to let your family know what it took to conquer the time, distance or milestone you’ve achieved, and encourage them to celebrate with you! 

BONUS TIP: Impress your Kids

If you want your kids to think you’re amazing, choose a landmark you know will impress them and run there. Ideally a destination they’ve driven or taken transit to and know the distance. For Janette this was Science World from her home in East Van. Her daughters couldn’t believe she’d gone that far and back. Don’t forget to take a picture so you have proof! 

Follow Janette’s training @avatozoe and check out her blog for Tricks To Keep Running So You Won’t Want To Give Up

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