Running on Plenty

“Yeah, I‘d really like to, but I don‘t think I can run very far,” or “Sure, it‘s easy for you, but I‘m really overweight,” or “I can‘t do that, I‘d be so slow!” Just a few things we have all heard potential runners say.

Probably most of us have all even said these things at one time or another. But for the new-comer, there is really only one thing to keep in mind about running, and that is your own personal reasons for doing so. Personally, I know I am never going to win any races. I know also that it‘s not really ever easy! But I also know this – for me, there is nothing more natural for my body to do than to run. And I do it now, so I can do it later when I‘m old. (OK, I heard what you were thinking! Even older than I am now then!)

"When it comes to winning, in my mind, there is only one person I am competing against and that‘s me."

Everyone who runs has their own particular reasons for doing so. If you are just starting out, don‘t worry! When it comes to winning, in my mind, there is only one person I am competing against and that‘s me. Sure, I have PR‘s I think I can beat and that helps motivate me, but my biggest reason for running is because I want to exercise my heart and lungs, I want to keep them healthier than if I was just totally sedentary. Don‘t worry about being overweight either. Hell, I know I need to lose at least 5kg, and if I did, (or should I say, when I do!) I will be able to run further and faster. Running slowly sculpts the body and burns off that weight. If you are just starting, you don‘t need to worry about any particular time or distance, just enjoy the activity and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it. Because no matter who you are, running is a challenge and it always carries a feeling of accomplishment.

New people often worry about how fast they can run or how far. And yes, most experienced runners will say it is a good idea to set goals, but those goals can be accomplished over time. Starting out with realistic goals is the place to begin. I know well a lady who said she hoped she could run a complete 10km race one day. Her first time running, she was thrilled with herself for going a full 3km, and rightly so! For her, that was an accomplishment, a tribute to her will to keep going even though she wanted to stop. But she had set a goal and she achieved it! That‘s the main thing. Now, she regularly runs those 10k races and though she isn‘t breaking any records, she feels good about herself and having taken command of her own health.

No runner I know ever faults a new runner for getting out there and trying. We all applaud the effort simply be-cause the overwhelming majority of us at one point were in the same place, just starting, a little nervous, uncertain of what we could do and what we wanted to do, and after a while we felt the confidence engendered by our own accomplishments. So if you are new, don‘t worry. Just relax and enjoy the sensation of your body doing the most natural thing a human body can do. Run! And then, best of all, when you‘re all hot and sweaty at the end, smelling like a locker room and looking your very best, per-haps aching and gulping for air, enjoy the banter and rehashing afterward with all your fellow runners. You‘re part of the group! And that too is a good reason for running!

See you at the social. You‘ll probably be looking great!

Dave Tonetti

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