Getting Started – Part 1: Mentality
Anyone can run commute. As long as you set your mind to it, you can do it.
Ok, ok… Maybe not everyone can do it, but the hardest part of trying anything new is convincing yourself to give it a shot and then doing it.
Disregard the initial, extremist thoughts that may enter your head when you think about run commuting: Namely, that it means you have to do it every day, only athletes are able to run like that, or you can’t because you need special facilities at your job to do so (shower).
I’ve heard many reasons why people can’t do things – as in, “I could never bike to the grocery store,” or “I could NEVER give up cheese/junk food/TV” and after making a few changes in my life, I realize now how much this annoys me. But they’ve convinced themselves they couldn’t do whatever it was before they even tried. It used to be me, too. These were my hold-ups:
I was freaked out about riding a bike in the city
I thought life would end if I got rid of my car
I could never stop eating meat (Egads! Where would I get my protein?)
I didn’t think these things could be done. But they can! First of all, before all of the other pieces and components of run commuting/bike commuting/anything different is contemplated, you really need to say, “Hey, *&^% it! I’m going to do this and that’s that!” You need to tell yourself it will happen and not let your initial doubts get in the way of a goal you set for yourself. This applies not just to run commuting, but any time change is considered.
Let’s face it: Most of us live in a pampered society. We want things to be a certain way. We “deserve” a certain level of comfort. Daily routines become familiar and it becomes too hard or undesirable to change to something different from the norm. And that’s ok… BUT, long car commutes stuck in slow traffic suck. And maybe you love working out or running already – it’s just hard to find the time to do it with everything else going on (long commute, family, responsibilities at home). And you may feel like it’s time to do something (anything!) different in your life. Why not make some changes that not only benefit you, but others around you as well?
When it comes to running to work, maybe you live 25 miles away and that’s obviously too far to tackle in the beginning (or ever!) But maybe you can drive your car and park 2 miles away from your office and run to and from there, gradually parking farther and farther away until you are running 8 miles every day (or as far as you are comfortable with.) How cool would that be? It doesn’t have to be every day, both ways. Maybe you live in an urban area with a public transit system you can combine with your daily runs? For example, on my short days, I’ll run a quick 2-miler and jump on a train and head into the city. And check this out – here’s an article about a Microsoft VP who combines run commuting with public transportation.
It can be done – if you want it. The first step is mentally committing yourself to it.
And *&^% it! Why not?