This is a weekly post for the runners of LoseIt. All levels are welcome — you can be a first time runner, just starting C25K, or a seasoned marathoner training for the next big race.
This post is mostly for sharing your weekly update. How you did with running this past week, asking questions, or talking about your training or recovery.
In addition to the weekly update I ramble on about some topic to encourage sharing, new runners, etc. (But mainly to get through the automod minimum post length.)
This week, I talk slowness and social anxiety.
Slow Running is Still Running
There's a lot of barriers to getting started running. You need some level of build cardio, adapt to the impact, and just keep going.
One of the largest barriers I think is the idea that running is fast. Way faster than you need to go and still be running.
Here's some advice — when you are first starting out, you can't go slow enough.
What is a running pace? Is there a point where I'm not running anymore.
For many, a 6 minute kilometer or 10 minute mile might feel like you are running for your life. You are on your treadmill and set it to 6mph and you can't go 15 seconds.
You are going too fast.
There is nothing wrong with going slower to find a doable pace for you. Easy and enjoyable for most people is running slow. Usually way slower than most people will admit.
There's no running 'minimum speed' — just a running motion/movement. If you are running at any speed you are running. I could put a pace in here. 13 minute miles. 8 minute kilometers. 15 minute miles. They would be wrong. There's no objective pace numbers that define running.
Have you ever seen someone running along smiling? I have. It's a rare thing. It's like spotting a baby pidgeon in the wild. If you've never seen this, try going on a hike where trail runners go. They seem to like to smile more than roadrunners and treadmillers.
How to run slow and find your smiling running pace
This video may not look it, but it's serious and very helpful. The video talks about your Niko Niko pace. This translates, roughly, into Smile Smile pace. And that sounds way better than running for your life at some faster km/miles per minute.
Social Anxiety, Running Slow, and All The Assholes of the World
I think the real largest barrier to getting out there is fear. Fear of being judged, mocked, ridiculed, etc.
I'm unfortunately not very anxious in social situations – so can't offer much advice here. I was, years ago, very introverted and anxious. When I was in my teens and early 20s. But I started meditation and it taught me to push thoughts that get in my way to the side.
Meditation is like becoming a warrior in your mind. Your mind becomes a slayground for all the bad thoughts and a playground for all the good ones. You get adept at getting through doubts and fears and as a result can stay focused and on track.
One of the things it did for me was simply turn off any dwelling thoughts of others judging or looking at me or mocking me. Realize that I sweat the Nile. I'm obese. I run slowly. Someone looking at me might rightly think, "God this poor guy is just getting started at this."
I've worked through those worries. You can't make all the assholes of the world be quiet. It's not possible. But there's very, very, very few out there in gyms or on trails. It's just really, really rare.
How did it go this week? Are you getting out there? Run your first time this week? Finish a week of C25K? Recovering from an injury? Training for a race?