Live Your Film

How to Start Running: Step 1 for Women is to Ask Why

by Casey Kenley

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That’s me (on the right) with my bud Leann.

Running is as natural to our bodies as breathing and sleeping. We’ve been running since we were toddlers, albeit unsteadily and with plenty of scraped knees before getting the hang of it.

For many women along the way, running gets replaced by other things like getting an education, being a mom or pursuing a career. But even at age 35 or 45, there’s still that itch to go faster than your grocery-shopping pace. Maybe you see women hoofing it through your neighborhood and you wonder if you could get out there and do that, too. Even if you haven’t run in years, you may have a hunch you could run a 5k. But how do you start running?

If you want how-to instructions, there are plenty of articles out there with great advice:

You can lead a woman to the how-to-run article, but you can’t make her run. Before you learn how to run, figure out WHY you want to run.

You might be at a place in your life where you are always giving. You give at work, at home, to your family, to your house. You stay up late doing last-minute “necessary” tasks. And in the morning, you’re up before the rest of your household to make sure everyone else’s days are primed to go smoothly. All that giving is rewarding in many ways, but it can also be exhausting. It can bring on stress and even resentment when you expect so much from yourself. And when you cut loose, god forbid you feel guilty for having too much fun. I know I’ve felt this way a lot of times.

For me, running cures all (or at least most) of these issues. Choosing to take up running is a choice to spend some of your amazing energy and time on yourself. For me, it is a time to take care of my body and mind before I dive into a work day. On weekends, it’s a healthy excuse to meet up with my best girlfriends to talk about what’s going on with our families, share hilarious stories, get advice on personal issues, and kick some ass on a trail or road.

Before you buy new running shoes, a running bra, try to find a running partner or group to train with, or start logging your progress, decide for yourself why you want to run. Make it personal. Write it on a piece of paper and keep it in your purse. Find an inspiring quote that helps you define why you want to train for a 5k. Dig deeper than “I want to lose 20 pounds” or “Because my doctor said it would be a good idea.” It’s more likely “I want to feel stronger and more beautiful” or “Because my reflection in the mirror looks kind of sad.”

Why do I run?: Because it makes me really, really happy and makes me a better mother, friend and person.

Once you know why you want to start running, dive into those how-to posts or visit your local running store to ask for advice. If you stick with running, what you get out of it will truly amaze you. Running is my ultimate salve. It might be yours, too.

Already a runner? Why do you run. I’d love to hear.

  • Tess Woods

    Tess Woods

    Running is my stress relief, my time with nature, my meditation. It calms me and allows me to be a more patient mom. It is my support group when I run with friends, laughing and sharing. It helps me accept my body image for what it is and makes me feel healthy. It allows me to not feel guilty when I choose to eat that yummy treat. It allows me a wider perspective of my roll in this life. Thanks for the awesome post. Wise words.

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