I remember the excitement when I completed my first 1.5km nonstop run. It took me ten minutes to complete. I told myself never to forget this moment. Never forget what it takes to start at the beginning and build to this. As I continued to build my distance my confidence and speed also began to increase over time. Learning to pace myself for a 1.5km was actually a challenge for me since I had been a 100-400 meter distance sprinter and only knew one speed which was go as fast as you can. Now I was having to learn how to pace properly and be patient with the process of building endurance.
For me this was fun and through the years of training and racing for me I always took the time to embrace the process of learning how to run each distance. Each one has a different type of intensity, a different type of element with racing strategy, a different type of training. I remember standing at the start line of my first 70.3 Ironman and my coach telling me to embrace every moment good and bad, because there will never be another first. This is something I took to hearth and have never forgotten.
Whenever speaking to a first time triathlete or runner I remind myself of these things which has also helped me as a coach throughout the years; to never forget what it is like to start from the beginning and embrace the training process of every distance. This got me thinking about all the first time runners and how most get started, the mistakes they make and moments they miss when ambition takes over the value of growing into the sport.
Anyone can open a magazine and read about how to run your first marathon or go from couch to 5km, but there are things which most ‘How To’ articles don’t write about for the beginner runners.
The more you do it for you and not because you have been pressured into this “If he can do it I can do it” mentality, the more running will become part of your life. It is something you can do anywhere and almost anytime. Running helps you learn a lot about yourself. You will love it, hate it and feel everything in between. Your feet will blister, skin get tanned and possibly even loose a toenail or two. Running…it is a primal survival skill and we all have in us. It brings out that side of us which society represses. To run is to live. Welcome to the pride.