As a teenager I tried running. Any attempts quickly ended in a fit of coughing with my lungs feeling ripped out. Finally around 19 a friend took me running for 2 miles. He kept us at a medium jogging pace, and at the end I didn’t feel like I had lost any major organs. Just slowing the pace helped. It was the difference between trying to sprint and going for a slow run.
Later I picked up a good tip: if you can’t carry a conversation you’re probably running too fast. I’m guessing this only applies for people like me who are just running for basic exercise.
After that 2 mile run I realized this could be something I’d enjoy. 6 weeks later I ran my first half marathon. It was hard but fun!
Then I mostly tapered off of running for a few years. I’d get out every now and then for a few miles, but nothing consistent. Finally at 25 years old I decided to get serious again and trained 4 months for my first marathon. The consistency was amazing. I followed a guide that told me what to do each day; it didn’t require much thinking, just get out and run.
The next year I ran a marathon again, greatly improving my time. Then I stopped running (regularly at least) for a few more years.
The result has been, if I don’t have a race I’m training for, I don’t run consistently.
A few weeks ago I decided to try the smallest daily habit I could think of in regards to running. I committed to running 1 mile a day (except for Saturday, I use that as my rest day). The experience has been freeing. While I would like to find an event to commit to, I can always get my running shoes on and at least run a mile.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this small habit continues over the next few weeks, and if it builds into something long term.