I grew up playing basketball with its short bursts of speed. There was no way that running, with its methodical pace and long agonizing distances, was something I wanted to do. But as I got older I recognized that running had great physical benefits and I knew it was something I probably needed to do to keep my weight in control. Maybe more importantly, I knew it would be good for my heart health. Even though it always looked like torture, here’s what I did to get started — it worked for me and I think it might work for you.

Walk before you run

That old idiom works well for my first bit of advice. When I started, I had made a deal with myself that I wasn’t going to be miserable and burn out. So I found a nice out and back path I began to “conquer.” I ran, I walked. I ran, then walked some more. After a week or two I was running a lot more than walking.

Don’t push so hard that you start making excuses not to run. In the beginning keep the run/walk pleasant as you build up stamina and lung capacity. Remember that the only person you need to impress is yourself. You’ll begin eliminating the walk breaks as you get stronger.

A consistent routine is key

It’s important that you set aside time to run. At first I would suggest that you run one day and rest the next. So whether it’s 30 minutes a day every other day, or 40 minutes three times a week, make sure you’re consistent. Commit to the routine, then stick to it.

After a couple of weeks you’ll be surprised at how much easier it becomes. At that point building up to longer runs will come naturally. That first path I choose gave me the opportunity to push a little further out as I started feeling stronger and more confident.

Push hard once a week

Saturday was my “stretch” run. The day where I would push myself a little harder, run a little farther. As you build up it’s good to have a longer run once a week. Most running programs suggest this. After a while I started enjoying the exhaustion and then the recovery the day after I pushed myself. Plus, it makes your runs on your regular days feel much easier.

Get a good pair of running shoes

Running doesn’t cost much so there’s no excuse not to get a good pair of shoes. When I finally found myself at a “running store,” the staff was very helpful, matching my ability with a shoe that complemented my foot and my running tempo. It made a huge difference as the worn-in basketball shoes I started with weren’t designed for what I was now doing – you’d be surprised at how much science goes into shoe design.

You’ll get sore – here’s what to look for

When you start, you’ll be sore. Stay with your routine and the soreness will go away. If you feel sharp pains, stop running for a few days and let your body recover. Shin splints are fairly common, and often the result of pushing too hard or the shoes you’re using. I would get really stiff the morning after a good run. If your joints (knees, ankles, back) get sore, try Novo Renew. It was developed for athletes who have stiff and sore joints. It has increased my flexibility and really helped me enjoy running even more.

The Benefits of Running

If you’re not a runner, here’s why you should start: you’ll feel healthier; your food will taste better (it’s true); you’ll lower your stress level; you’ll think more creatively; you’ll manage your weight better; and your heart will be healthier!

Run joyfully. Recover naturally with Novo Renew.