Even if you're not a born runner, you'll get something special from Pete Magill, the author of Born Again Runner. As an overworked script writer, Pete found himself in the hospital when he collapsed one evening. The alcohol, drugs and smoking were killing him. He turned to running as a way to fix himself.
It wasn't all success, but he stuck with it and is not a world-class runner for his age group. In Born Again Runner, he lays out a way for you to see your version of success as a runner.
The 12 born again runner principles
- The past is the past – While you may have failed in the past, that is the past.
- Walk before you run – You may not be able to run at first, but if you will gradually progress, your body will adapt. Your nervous system adapts faster than your muscles. You need to let all the systems adapt before you progress.
- Keep it simple – It doesn't have to be a special day to start. No need to make it an event, just find a safe, flat, location where you're not far from the start.
- Shirt, shorts, shoes – No need to go out and buy a lot of expensive things. There will be plenty of time to pick up equipment as you need it.
- Train with the body you have – You come in your own shape, size, gender, and fitness background. You'll need to discover a running style and program that works for you. We are all an experiment of one.
- It’s recovery stupid – We only get fit when we're recovering from the work we've done. The cliche, “No pain, no gain” is wrong.
- The only opinion that matters is your own – Don't let other people discourage you from training. Not being a born runner doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it.
- No rain checks unless it's raining – There are going to be days we don't want to run or can't run. Don't run on days when it isn't good to run (excessive heat, when you're injured, or a can't miss event), but don't miss because you just don't feel like it. It is too easy to make missing a habit and you risk losing your fitness gains. Have a contingency plan.
- Dieting can wait (and so can everything else) – It is already hard enough to build fitness and get proper recovery. This is not a time to restrict your food. Focus on one goal at a time.
- Slower is faster – You many not be a born runner, but it is critical that you keep your ego in check. Build slowly. The fastest way to be a good runner is to go slowly.
- It’s gotta be fun – If you don't enjoy your running, you won't keep doing it. Find a friend or group to train with. Find online runners forums to connect with other runners.
- Know you’ll succeed – This is the most important principle. While you may not be a born runner, you will succeed. You know you have a plan. You know you're doing the right things to stay injury free. You expect to change your body through training and recovery.
Most runners will experience injuries at some time. Pete has organized preventive exercises for each of the common running-related injuries. An injury will keep you from running, which will impede your progress. Avoiding injuries should always be top of mind before, during and after your runs.