I used to think runners were weirdly wired. I didn't believe running could actually be fun. I had run phobia.
But that's because I hadn't ever really run. The further I get into adulting, the more I realise you can get better at most things if you actually practise.
Five years ago I was an unfit mum who hated running. Fast forward to now and I love the runner's high.
I have conquered 19 marathons. Included in that tally is guiding several disabled athletes through marathons. I've lost track of the 21km and 10km events I've done. Running now keeps me fit. I'm a qualified fitness consultant and yoga teacher, who trains beginner runners now. I help people with training plans, and recommendations on how to manage weight, look good and manage stress. Here are my 10 beginner run tips:
1. Get over yourself and just start. You will not find it easy-peasy and look pretty at the start of your run journey. Suck it up princess and expect a fire-engine red face.
2. Find your run tribe. Run with a friend so you can motivate each other. Make sure you follow fellow runners on Instagram for motivation. Follow me — I'm under the tag @inspiredhealthandfitness.
3. Start off with an easy walk/run routine for about 20 minutes two to three times weekly around your 'hood. Walk a power pole, run a power pole, and repeat, etc.
4. Don't run too fast too soon. That's a fast track to injury. It also makes running no fun at all.
5. Find the right run coach who cares about your journey and you as an individual, not just your money. I'm passionate about training beginner runners and so get in touch if you are a runner starting from scratch. I'll love helping you get to the start-line of an event like the 12km distance at the Tauranga International Marathon on September 22. I'll be running this. I can help you do it too!
6. Don't compare your run pace. Comparison is the thief of joy.
7. Focus on how you feel after a run. Running can be amazing for clearing your mind.
8. Don't flap your arms about — this isn't efficient.
9. Don't wear fitness gear that's pink from head-to-toe. Otherwise the public will yell out 'Hello moving candy floss!'
10. Do run-specific, dynamic stretches before running and static stretches after running. This helps to avoid injuries.
• Rachel Grunwell is our weekly wellness columnist. She is a qualified fitness consultant who is in a running collective that creates personalised training plans that incorporate lifestyle advice on how to lose weight, look good and manage stress.