Zachary Ellis Sanders

As a lifelong runner, Zackary Sanders often hears other people say they wish they could run like him. Zackary Sanders wants everyone to know that they can develop as a runner. Running isn’t a superpower that only few are blessed with. Running can be extremely challenging – especially in the beginning – but anyone with enough determination can grow into a running athlete. Today, Zackary Sanders will offer tips to those who have always wanted to become a runner but have struggled to get started.

1. You Have to Start Somewhere

One of the biggest reasons people fail to follow through on their desire to run is that they don’t believe they are in good enough shape. The truth is running is all about perseverance and practice. It’s not uncommon for the thought of a mile run to seem as daunting as crossing the country when a new runner gets started. Everyone should be focused on running their own race. There’s no need to go fast. Zackary Sanders recommends starting with a goal of running a mile. Don’t worry about how fast you can get the mile completed. The best pace is one where you can carry a conversation without feeling out of breath. It may be necessary to start jogging at a pace that is barely faster than walking. This is not a problem. It’s a starting point and it will grow easier as you continue to repeat the process.

2. Be Kind to Yourself

Running is a great physical activity, but it can be as challenging mentally as it is physically. Self-doubt and negativity can creep in quickly when a new runner starts to compare themselves to more experienced runners out on the track or on their local runners’ path. Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial. Be sure to congratulate yourself on going for a run in the first place. Progress will come as time goes on, but if a runner lets self-doubt win, they will never make it. One of the best ways to drown out the doubt is to find a playlist you love and blast it during your run. Get lost in the music and simply run as fast as you can go. If you need to take a break and walk, take the break. It will only make the moments where you no longer need to take the break that much more special later on.

3. Prioritize Footwear

Having a solid pair of running shoes is well worth the investment. A quality pair of running shoes can lower the risk of injury. Local running shoe shops will often conduct a gait check with their customers to match them up with the running sneakers that match their stride. This will prove invaluable down the road. Running can be tough on your joints, so be sure to treat yourself to quality shoes. In addition to great footwear, be sure to stretch both before and after the run. This will help lower the risk of injury and limit the amount of time it takes to recover. No pair of shoes will make running completely comfortable, but there’s a difference between feeling uncomfortable and being injured. Embrace feeling comfortable being uncomfortable.

4. Crosstrain

A lot of new runners eventually fall in love with running but cease to exercise in other ways. This can be dangerous. You can lower your risk of injury by mixing in some strength training a few days a week. These days can be focused on building up the muscles in the legs and glutes. A minimal amount of strength training can go a long way in reducing the risk of injuries while out running.

5. Consistency Over Distance or Speed

Zackary Sanders is a firm believer that what qualifies someone as a “runner” has nothing to do with how fast a person can run or how long they travel during their run. What qualifies someone as a runner is consistency. Write out a schedule and stick to it. The longer a routine is followed, the easier it will be to stick to it. Be sure to track progress and push things further once you feel as if you have reached a plateau. There’s no finish line for runners, but everyone can enjoy the benefits that come from feeling accomplished as a runner.