I remember when I first started running I was extremely intimidated by other runners. They seemed so fast and confident. It made me so afraid to sign up and commit to a race. Over the years I learned a few things and I wanted to share them with you.
Get fitted for running shoes. Start here. If your shoes fit poorly you are not going to be comfortable and not want to continue. Running shoes can be expensive but you will be so glad in the long run that you made that investment. Once I got fitted and knew which shoes worked best for me I'd search for them and buy them online. I can typically buy the previous years version at a discount. I don't always get the color choice I'd want but sometimes I would save $40 by doing this.
Find a program to get you started. I had no idea where to start. That's when I turned to the Couch to 5k program. It laid out how many times a week to run and then the program would tell me when to walk and when to run. The intervals of running slowly increased until I was running a 5k without stopping. I was even able to listen to my music on my phone and it would jump in and tell me "walk" or"run."
Don't give up! My husband adds that for the first few weeks he felt like he was getting nowhere. It was hard and painful for him to just do two miles. Then one day something clicked and he was not only able to do those 2 miles he set out to do, but a couple more with it. Remember it takes time for your body and bones to be conditioned to this type of exercise. Running is a hard activity on the body so be gentle and patient.
Put together a good playlist. Music can be so motivating! I use Pandora and switch up my station depending on my mood.
Don't compare yourself with others. There will always be someone faster than you. This has been a hard one for me until recently. I was always so concerned that I wasn't fast enough. My pace is slow. And it may always be slow. The only person you need to compare yourself with is YOU! Are you improving? Did you increase your distance or speed compared to last week? With that in mind...
Don't be afraid to sign up for a race. Runners are some of the nicest people. Like I said before, I have a slow pace. When I go to a race I have fun. I don't stress about what place I'm in. And at the finish line there are always those faster runners that finished first cheering you on! Other runners are so encouraging. Do not be intimidated!
I hope you give running try! If it's not for you, don't dwell on it. Move on and find an activity you do enjoy. Not everyone is going to be a runner, and that's OK! Just have fun!