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3 Tips to Overcome Newbie Obstacles

By Caroline Trenary, 02/26/17, 11:45PM EST

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Don't be scared, just dive right into running!

At what point are you officially initiated as a runner? I say it is when you overcome your first obstacle. How do you overcome the obstacle(s)? Find the humor, push through, and be proud.

While we all have different running levels, we struggle with a similar obstacle – ourselves. Our minds are an obstacle that we may be able to prove wrong, to silence briefly or to ignore completely.

I was inspired to chase my dreams by another marathoner who told me “It’s all in your head”. Here’s my simple “how to” guide of ways to conquer your first obstacle.

I can never run that far! 

You can run a little. Whether it’s a quarter of a mile or one mile, start there. Walk when you need to, but push through to your goal distance. Walk when you can’t breathe, walk when you hurt, walk when you think you can’t go any further. DO NOT stop because you are bored, because you think you can not do it, because you are slow, because you feel self-conscious. You’re running farther than everyone sitting around. You’re doing better than when you first started. Always remember, it sucks now, but it will feel tremendous when you’re done!

I have too much to do! 

Oh, the most frequent excuse in today’s world. If I had a dollar for every time in my short life that I have told myself this phrase, I wouldn’t need to work! Set a goal, follow a training plan, allow rest days, and plan your runs. And when you really lack motivation, read some inspirational quotes. We all have days when we just don’t want to run. When my daily run is part of a bigger goal (a half marathon), it means more to me. And don’t forget, we always need to take time for ourselves. Leave the phone on silent, take out the earbuds and be present with yourself. Take this time to clear your head and purge your body of that stress.

Make silly habits

I write a short phrase on my hand. Does it make me go faster? No. Does it make me whine any less? No. But I feel pretty badass every time I look at it. I’m progressing toward that big goal. And that’s going to be awesome to brag about. When all else fails? Wear glitter nail polish, cheer yourself on (out loud of course!) or rock out to some awesome tunes.

The primary obstacles that we encounter will continue to haunt us. Prove yourself wrong. And if you fail? Try again. Eventually, you will succeed. Then you can look back and say, “I told myself I could never do that and I did it. WAHBAAAAM!” No excuses now!

What pushes you through those mental stops?

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