How To Start Running When The Very Thought Of It Terrifies You

01/09/2015 8:15 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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If you’d rather go without chocolate for the rest of your life than go for a run -- you’re not alone.

For many, the very thought of anything more than a power walk is frightening.

Sure, the elusive “runner’s high” is tempting and all -- but you can get the same feelings from a Golden Gaytime, no?

Not if you want to get fit, according to Every Fit Person In The World -- and with Spring officially here it's time to lace up.

Ben Lucas, former NRL player, running coach and co-founder of Flow Athletic spoke to The Huffington Post Australia about the crucial things we should know if we’re considering taking up the sport.

The first 10 minutes of a run are the hardest -- but trust me -- it gets easier.

Your body starts off in an anaerobic state -- basically it’s using more oxygen than it’s taking in. It takes between eight and 10 minutes before your muscles receive the full supply they need to transition to the aerobic system. Once that happens, it should start getting easier. The trick is to start off at a slower pace before building to the pace you want to maintain.

It’s best to use a combination of training surfaces.

All have their benefits and downfalls. For example, overtraining on the road can lead to impact injuries. Too much treadmill impairs your stride. That being said, Cassandra Fien, winner of the female category of this year’s City to Surf race in Sydney trained only on a treadmill! Try to mix it up -- that also keeps it interesting.

If you’re training on a treadmill -- use the incline.

Doing this increases the intensity and therefore calories burnt -- without increasing stress on the body’s joints. Think of it like you’re walking up a hill -- the greater the incline, the harder your body works.

If you think running more than one kilometre is impossible, it’s not.

In 2011 I trained 101 people, aged between 16 and 60, to run the Sydney Marathon. None of them were experienced runners and most were terrified! The most important thing we found was to start them off slowly. At times we jogged for 30 seconds, walked for one minute and built up from there. ALL managed to cross the finish line because they set small, achievable goals.

Running long distances can be harsh on the body -- but it doesn’t have to be.

As long as you’re mixing up the surfaces you run on and making sure you have proper running shoes, which are correctly fitted. Also, running technique is everything. I’ve run 35 full marathons and 5 ultra-marathons and have been lucky enough not to have any joint problems by following these guidelines.

The hardest thing is getting started and once you’ve formed a habit -- it’s actually quite addictive -- here, some quick tips to get you started…

Make it social -- find a friend to run with so you can motivate each other and be accountable.

Listen to music -- your favourite tracks will help get you motivated.

Enter an event and train for it -- Tough Mudder or a Colour Run are great ways to get out and meet new people.

Buy some new running gear -- sounds strange but I always get excited to train with new clothes.

Australia has some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet -- get outside and explore it.

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