How to Get Off Your Butt and Start Running This Spring

This year, for the first time in my life I decided to run a marathon.

It’s a big deal for me.

I’ve never tried long distance running in the past, so I am very excited about it.

Yet, in this article I won’t be addressing how to prepare for something as exhausting as a marathon.

I won’t even talk about the benefits of running.

Instead, in this article I’m going to share several tips that made it relatively easy to make those first few crucial runs.

Let’s get started.

Set the date in advance and stick to it

Conditions will never be just right to make that first run: the warm, cozy bed will always have increased gravity in the morning and there will always be something urgent to do after work.

So instead of waiting for the fabled “I feel like going for a run” moment, I have set the date two weeks in advance, marked it on the calendar and in my mind committed to it, no matter what.

When the day came, I was surprised that there was still snow outside in April, but for me there was no backing away.

Don’t worry about performance for the first few runs

There’s no doubt about it – starting to move after winter can be difficult. So for the first few runs it’s really not about achieving particular results but getting off our butts and into our running shoes.

To make sure I follow through I made it easy for myself: for the first few runs my goal was to just go out running, even if it meant running around the house for a minute. Interestingly, when the pressure is off, it becomes easier to perform and my first runs where rather satisfying.

Prepare equipment in advance

I still remember my first few tries to go out running last year: in the morning I would force myself to wake up early and then spend 15 minutes trying to find my shoes, choosing the right clothes and another 30 minutes setting the right playlist to listen to while running.

This was both a hassle and exhausting emotionally.

This year, the night before my first run I have set all the equipment next to my bed: smartphone with the playlist prepared, running shoes, clothes, bottled water.

This way in the morning I had no time to talk myself out of running.

Plan your track

One thing that used to keep me from running in the past was that I wasn’t sure where to run after I leave the house as there are no proper tracks near my home.

So this year, the day before my first scheduled run, I spent an hour walking around and planning where to run next morning. Also, while walking I visualized running in these locations. This simple action removed a huge mental block and visualizing made me excited about the whole process.

Consider sharing this experience with a friend

I have to admit, for me running is a personal experience, almost like meditation so I prefer to do it alone. For some, it’s a social activity. And if you plan to run with a friend, a quick tip: schedule a meet up place and time the evening before and agree not to contact each other in the morning.

However, if you prefer to run solo, like me, I would highly recommend downloading a free app like Nike+ and joining their community of runners.

You’ll be able to log and track your runs and easily share your results. Everything’s more fun when it’s a game and maybe sharing your results will help motivate some of your friends to also pick up this amazing activity.

I hope you’ve found these tips as useful as they were to me.

So when is your first run this season?

Written on 4/24/2013 by Darius Belejevas. Darius Belejevas is the author of, where he writes for people who refuse to settle for second best in life and yet understand that to make things happen, we need to make hard decisions, work deliberately, and have an unshakable commitment to the idea of life on our own terms.  He loves getting himself into adventures, takes the path less known, and wholeheartedly enjoys life. Photo Credit

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