I’ve never considered myself a runner, in fact, running has never been a strong suit for me. My preferred workouts have always been inside yoga studios or CrossFit gyms. Occasionally I would run a few miles but never understood what those real runners were all about.
This year, I found myself slowly adding mileage and being surrounded by people, like my husband, Aaron Hewitt, a Charlotte Marathon ambassador, who were excited and passionate about running.
I cautiously started considering signing up for a half marathon. I had fears of failing and fears of getting hurt. Could I run 13 miles? Being competitive, I was nervous to set a goal and potentially not achieve it.
Despite fears, I signed up, set a training plan, put in the miles and soon, will be running the Charlotte Half Marathon.
If you’re a “non-runner” but have been considering signing up for a race, here are a few tips to help ease any doubts.
Training plan choice – There are a variety of half marathon training plans available. I looked specifically for a plan where I only had to run three days a week. I knew I could stay motivated if I only had to run that often. Plus, this type of plan allowed me to continue to incorporate yoga and CrossFit into my training schedule.
Non-runner advantages – I’ve been surprised by how well I’ve done on long runs as mileage has increased. My pace has also improved and I’m less sore than expected. I credit this to the strong core, glute and leg strength along with flexibility my non-running workout base provided. Not being a “runner” may benefit your run.
Support system – When I signed up for the Charlotte Half Marathon I posted about it on social media. This instantly held me accountable and provided support and motivation from friends and family cheering. A lot of what you encounter when training is new and having a support system helps.
Running gear – I got fit at a local running store for new running shoes as soon as I began my training. As a non-runner, it was helpful to utilize local experts for questions regarding gear and fuel. I can’t say I liked the first running gel I tried, but the jelly beans weren’t bad. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or try new things.
Rest and rewards – I always plan a rest day, it’s something I look forward to and keeps me motivated. I am also planning on rewarding myself by buying something new once I complete the race. Saving up for something you wouldn’t typically buy yourself can keep you motivated towards reaching a goal.
The biggest surprise during training has been how exciting it is to hit mileage goals. My body is doing things I never thought possible. Sounds like I’m turning into a runner after all.
Amanda Hewitt is a Physical Therapy Assistant with the OrthoCarolina Randolph physical therapy office.