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How to Start Running

I Can Run is about getting the most out of your running journey, no one else’s. This book is not a training manual for ‘runners’, it’s a companion for every woman who has ever experienced the softly spoken, yet sadistic voice in her head whispering, ‘you can’t run’. Here are some top tips from I Can Run to help you get started:

  1. PARK YOUR EGO. Because this is going to be humbling and embarrassing, but also empowering. Confidence is a wonderful thing, and for those of you that have it in your comfort zones, the aim here will be to build it in your discomfort zones. For those of you who lack confidence in your day-to-day, the plan is to build it in running so that you can apply it to every aspect of your life. But that confidence won’t appear immediately. Running is a great leveller. No matter your age, your profession, your weight or your gender, your running journey will have highs and lows. For every new milestone there will be a time when you’ll be overtaken by a 14-year-old at Parkrun. Ditching your ego will allow you to deal with these moments with zero sense of embarrassment. So far in my own marathon journey I’ve accidentally spat on a stranger, narrowly missed shooting a snot rocket onto a running pal and gone nose to bar with a lamppost while trying to email and run. Yes, we runners are an awkward, calamity-prone species. So, welcome to the club. These hilarious and unfiltered moments help you to better connect with your body, and with every faceplant there’s an opportunity to rise up stronger.
  2. LAY STRONG FOUNDATIONS If step one was about letting your guard down, then step two is about learning how to build yourself back up again, both mentally and physically. In addition to finding the confidence to call yourself a runner, you need to bullet-proof the body and mind that are going to carry you through all this. First, you’ll learn that ‘running to get fit’ is a phrase that should be buried in the graveyard of bad health advice. Instead you need to get fit to run, and that will take you from the pavement and park loop to the track, the weights room and, pleasingly, the sofa. That’s because, with the support of my squad of experts, you’ll understand that there’s much more to running than putting one foot in front of the other. You need to eat well, you need to get strong and you need to chill the fuck out. If your body is going to last the course, then setting aside time to sit in front of the telly is crucial.
  3. CHASE DOWN PROGRESS. Now, this is where your journey really picks up the pace. With expert tips and learnings from my own journey, the opportunity is there to power towards your own race day. You’ll be able to try the running plans that built me up to half-marathon and marathon success, and learn all the tips you need to survive start line nerves and crash through any proverbial wall.

The ‘I Can Run’ Mindset

  • Forget times and focus on feelings
  • Use social media as a companion, not a comparison
  • Food is fuel and you’re going to need lots of it
  • Train smarter, not more
  • The success of your next run starts with recovering from your last one
  • Listen to your body and be OK with missing workouts when life happens
  • Run for the joy that’s in it and be proud of every step

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