How to Become a Runner Today

mindset running training Apr 09, 2020

Are you going stir crazy while stuck inside during quarantine? Gyms are closed and people are working from home. The one thing that is not closed currently is nature! This means all you need to start running are some shoes, a plan, and some will! 

What does it mean to be a runner?

If you are reading this post, most likely you would like to be a runner. 

Maybe the term "runner" itself even sounds overwhelming.

I have noticed a lot of people think that identifying as a  "runner" means you have to train 5 days a week or run a certain pace to have the honor to be classified as one. 

I've heard people say, "oh I'm so slow, I'm not a runner" even when they're out there jogging!

Or I've heard people say "I'll never be a runner" and I know right away it's their mindset that is holding them back. 

Here's a big truth: If you want to be a runner, you can be a runner. 

It doesn't matter how fast you go, or what you wear, or how often you go out. 

Running is a mindset

Want to start running? Check out my Free Training Program, Couch to 5k!

The only thing that matters is that you show up and try. 

As with anything, to get comfortable with running you need practice. 

You need to get over the initial hump of it feeling hard and then you will be happily surprised with the joy and endorphins that come with getting better. 

So, Step 1 to being a runner is purely to start the process! 

Let's dive in. 

First thing's first. Footwear. 

Do you have comfortable running shoes that you have had for less than a year? 

If yes, great. You are good to go. 

If the answer was a no, it is time to invest. Putting money into good running shoes is key to prevent injury and feel good running. 

Even more important than the unique type and style, is how the shoes feel on your feet.

I would go into the store with the right socks on and jog around in a few types of shoes. The shoes should feel like they fit your feet well and you want to walk right out of the store with them on. 

Trust me, if one part of the shoes feels tight on your toes or is slipping off your heel, the issue is only going to get worse as time goes on. 

So focus on the shoes feeling good from day 1 so they support your training. 

Pin this! 

Next, choose the path

Before you go out to run, plan where you are going to go. Again, the distance is not important right now. The hardest part is just getting out there and beginning. 

If you don't plan where you'll going, you may find yourself giving up prematurely. If you have an end in sight it is much easier to go the distance and reach your goal!

If you are listening to music while you run, try starting with running to your favorite song. When the song is over turn around and run back. 

And there you have it, you will have completed your first run! 

So what's next? 

Remember it's easier to slowly build endurance than to overdo it 

This means to start off with low distance or low time. This is where my Free Training Program, Couch to 5k comes in handy. 

Increase your distance and time little by little as you feel comfortable. If you push too hard you can put yourself at a higher risk for injury. This is why it's easier to slowly build your mileage and speed rather than overworking too quickly. 

The great news about pace and going faster is that your body will naturally begin to pick up the pace the more you practice and run that distance. 

Our bodies truly are amazing and resilient!

After your first run

Celebrate! You did it! It's huge and it's something worth sharing with friends, loved ones, and anyone your heart feels called to tell. 

Be proud of yourself because you stepped out of your comfort zone and are on the path to becoming who you want to be. 

Drink a big glass of water and stretch for 10 minutes after running. 

Here are the 5 stretches I do after running: 

  • Sitting stretch
    • Sitting on floor, gently reach arms toward toes.
    • You will feel a stretch in your hamstrings on the back of your legs and in your low back. 
  • Figure 4 Stretch
    • Sitting on floor, knees bent, feet on floor, cross one shin over the other in a figure 4 position.
    • You will feel this stretch your glute or butt muscles. 
  • Cat-Camel yoga stretch


  • Arms and knees on the floor in a table top position, gently and slowly arch your back and then sag the belly toward the floor. 
  • You will feel this loosen your midback and low back. 
  • Child's pose


  • Sit on your knees and gently bring your arms in from of you onto the floor. You may be able to rest your forehead on the ground in front of you. Take 10 deep breaths here. 
  • You will feel this gently stretch your back and the back of your shoulders. 
  • QL stretch


  • Sit on the floor with legs at a 90 degree angle apart from each other. Put arms up toward the ceiling or sky. Gently lean the torso to the right leg and then to the left. Hold for a few breaths on each side. 
  • You will feel this loosen the upper and lower back. 

 Breathe, Shower, and Get Ready for Tomorrow

If you plan out when you will do your next run, you are more likely to follow through. Like anything in our lives, when we schedule it and make it a priority, it gets done. 

Do you have running clothes that you feel excited to wear or feel your best in? If so, set them out for your next workout tomorrow. This will let you build excitement to get back out there! 

If you don't have any yet, don't worry. Work toward a milestone or goal and reward yourself with a new pair of shorts or a running tank. 

For example, "When I am able to run one mile without stopping, I will get that pair of leggings I have been looking at!" This will give you the motivation and encouragement to stick to your plan. 

Remember, each time you go out, you are becoming a better and stronger runner. 

The only way not to get better is to quit. Keep going - you are doing great!

Want to start running? Check out my Free Training Program, Couch to 5k!


Related posts: 

Why I Decided to Run the 2019 Outer Banks Marathon 

5 Ways to Be a Stronger Runner 

The Top Nutrients For Women's Health 

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