It’s been exactly 4 months since I started my running journey. Dont get me wrong, I’ve been running my whole life, scratch that, we’ve been running our whole lives. We ran as we took our first few excited steps towards our mom when we were toddlers or as kids while we played hide and seek with our friends. Somehow things changed as we grew up, while some still continued to run, I stopped. I was active but running for me became a task which seemed very unnecessary. I think I just became lazy and running was yet another chore I was literary running away from.
4 months ago when Nike approached me to run a half marathon, my initial reaction was, “Are you sure I will be able to do it?”. I had my doubts and even as I gave them my confirmation I remember thinking to myself “Wow, 21k thats a whole lot for someone who only runs from her sofa to the fridge and back.” The Delhi Half marathon was happening on Nov 29th which gave me around a month and a half to get myself ready. Also it helped that Shereen (Blogger – Love and other bugs) and I were running our first half together.
The initial prepping stage began by Nike getting us to Delhi to run a 5k with the NRC – Nike Run Club (More about it Below). We started the process by getting our gears so we could start our journey. Early the next day, we reach our destination where I was suppose to do my first 5K (Ever!) and I remember being anxious about it. 45 minutes later it was a whole different story. I was pumped with adrenaline and joy as I crossed the 5k mark and thought to myself,”Wow! that was not difficult, in fact it was so much fun”. After the run we all gathered at the auditorium to hear the Indian Blade runner, Major D.P Singh talk about running. His speech moved me any many more like me as we whole looked at him with awe totally getting prepared to run another 5k if we had to. That was the day, my friend, I realised I kind of liked running.
To prep us for our first Half, Nike enrolled us at NRC, Nike Run Club where coach Dan and coach Melwyn trained us every Saturday. NRC is an open community where anyone who likes to run can join in. They have NRC’s across all metro cities like Delhi, Banglore and Mumbai. Coach Dan also created a training program from us to follow. You can look at it here:
Cut back to Nov 28th, while we sat in our hotel lobby with Nike’s team pumping and motivating us for the half marathon, I discovered this book called “Born to run by Christopher Mcdonald”. That very day I headed to khan market in search of it and read it till I fell asleep. This book gave me the drive I needed to run the half marathon. As I walked towards the venue thinking about a whole lot of “what if’s” and grumbling under my breath how cold it was, I saw hundred and thousands of people gearing up. I still didn’t expect these many people to turn up that early in the morning and run. Some were old, some were young, some were athletes and some novice (Like me) who just wanted to do it for the thrill. As I took my first step towards the start line, all the nervousness left me and even the cold Delhi wind couldn’t dim the excitement that I witnessed right ahead of me. Shreen and I ran/ jog/ walked as we tried pushing each other and making sure that no matter what we have to cross that finish line. I won’t deny that it wasn’t difficult, I remember after the 17k I thought I might faint or worse fall and break my head. But the the whole team of Nike was there to cheer us through out and every time I thought I cant take another step I saw someone holding a banner with our names motivating us towards the finish line.
I recall there was a massive smile plastered on both Shreen and my face as we jogged our way through the finish line, taking in our victory. We managed to finish our 21k at 2 hours 50 minutes which honestly wasn’t bad in fact I never really thought I could complete the run in the first place. That day somewhere in between my first step and last I fell in love with running.
As we finished taking our medals, Nike team asked us if we were prepared to take down the Mumbai Half Marathon and we both screamed “Hell Yeah!” (Please excuse the tiny bit of exaggeration). So Here I am sitting on my bed, legs sore from my morning run sharing my running journey with you. In exactly 5 days we will be running our second half marathon.
If you are interested or want to start running, here are a few things that might help you:
1. Invest in good running gears:
I cant explain how important good quality running gears are. Running gears are an investment, so make sure you spend some time and choose the one which is the most comfortable. There are many running shoes available in the market to fit your budget and style. Whenever you head out to get your running shoes make sure you wear them around the store for at least 5 minutes. This will insure you of any discomfort later. Also the fit of the shoes should be snug but not too tight. My current running shoes are Nike’s Zoom Vomero 10. Apart from shoes another two extremely important things to invest in are cushioned shocks and sports bra. I tried to cheap out on socks and trust me it was a horrible mistake. Not only did I face discomfort, I felt miserable throughout my run.
2. Be Realistic:
In the beginning you might want to challenge yourself and see how far you go but I would advice you to set realistic goals. Start slow and steady so you don’t burn out. If you’re a beginner start with a half an hour brisk walk thrice a week and then add 1-2 minutes of running to it once you are comfortable. If you do cardio often try for a 20 – 30 minutes of run to start with. At the same time do it at a pace which you are comfortable in.
3. Get motivated:
It is important to stay motivated, weather its for a fit body or over all health. There are days when I don’t feel like running, period. But these are the days I need to push myself harder and make sure I go for it. To motivate myself I go on Pinterest and search for fitness quote or read “Born to run”.
4. Warm up & Cool down:
Your run is important, yes, but whats essential is the warm up and cool down. This will reduce the risk of injury and get your body ready.
5. Download an App:
Technology has surely made our lives much more easier. There are many apps in the app store which you can use to track your running. Like I mentioned earlier I use the nike running app (Its free of cost) which helped me immensely with my running plus you can show off to your friends about how long/fast your last run was. I highly recommend you to give it a try (Click here to see the app).
6. Join a club
Starting my Saturdays at NRCs is truly a great way to dive into weekend. Not only do I get to see all these lovely likeminded people running, sweating, smiling but also training and getting faster, better, stronger. You don’t even have to join a club, get a couple of your friends involved and decide a date and time you all will run together and stick to it. Running with friends can be so much fun as you can push each other achieve your goals. Plus if you have a dog (Like me) you can take him for a run too, I bet he will appreciate this run more than anybody else.
As each year starts, we make and break our resolutions but I hope reading this post will somehow in the tiniest way help you to get motivate and be #BetterForIt.