By Georgia Robertson
We all start somewhere. I came to QUT having barely run in my life. I remember at my Year 12 sports day I didn’t even complete my 800m race because of how unfit I was. Fast-forward three years, I have trimmed 17 minutes off my 10km time, ran my first half marathon and I am the current president of QUT Running.
Starting is the hardest part. This is as true for assignments as it is for running, we all begin somewhere. There are so many resources that rationalise how to start running, but the three most important things are to have realistic standards, set goals and find a community.
Wait! Before you glaze over this article like your week 3 readings, give it a chance! Running can be an addiction, an escape, or a tool for fitness, but at the end of the day, it’s a habit. To keep a habit, it is important that you have a realistic view of running. Injury is often synonymous with running; however, this is a mark of too much too soon. If your goal is to run a half marathon, you can’t wake up one day and try go for a 20km run. It is important to start off slow to avoid injury. There are so many workouts you can try. If you want to achieve distance, start off with intervals. If you are looking for speed, maybe HIIT is more suitable. The internet is filled with great resources for beginners. If you set your expectations small and focus on working your way up, becoming an intermediate and advanced runner will be within your grasp! This leads into the next crucial point: goals.
A goal is a useful tool for motivation. I have been running for years and still have days where finding motivation feels like an insurmountable struggle. Having a goal is invaluable and there are so many opportunities within Brisbane and QUT to achieve them. You may want to enter a race, such as QUT Classic or Bridge to Brisbane, or join QUT Running and simply aim to attend one session a week. Your goal can be even simpler. When I first started running, I had a 4km route around my neighbourhood and my goal was to run up each hill. Then it became to run the length of the school. Each time I achieved a goal on my route, I tried to set a new one. A goal will provide useful direction for your running journey. The final piece of the puzzle (and in my opinion the most crucial), is community.
One way to create a habit is to find your tribe. Community will allow you to push yourself, learn and socialise. Brisbane is full of communities. Why not start by joining your local Parkrun? Closer to home, QUT has so many opportunities for fitness, including QUT Running which is a wonderful way to amalgamate running and socialising. Speaking from experience, joining a running club was one of my best decisions because running no longer becomes a chore, but an exciting opportunity to hang out with friends!
Starting is always the hardest part, but the important thing to remember is that we all start somewhere. So, jump in, who knows where it will lead you in three years?