Sean Fortune is the founder of Central Park Coaching, where he specializes in one-on-one coaching with an emphasis on high-quality, intense speed and form training sessions. Fortune has been a fixture on the New York City running scene for 20 years, winning multiple top races and marathons across the country, and he is also a USATF Level II certified coach and former NCAA coach for Hunter College in NYC.
Fortune’s Tips on How to Become a “Runner”:
Know Your “Why”
Firmly understand and make concrete your reason(s) for embarking on a running regimen. You will be tested over and over again, so if you’re not 100 percent certain of your motivations, you’ll be more likely to quit.
It’s not about how far you go one day, or how fast. It’s about creating the continuity of training, week in and week out. That means getting in runs even when you’re not in the mood or feel like you don’t have the time.
Set Your Expectations
It’s going to be hard! There’s a good four- to six-week window as your body adjusts to the regimen before you will see any discernible improvements. The payoff will come when you have one of those magical days when you feel like you can run forever.
Hire a coach, if you can. Enlist friends or family members to join in. Sign up for a race as a goal to stay committed. Get a mobile device that plays your favorite music or podcast to listen to while you run.
Buy New Gear
Don’t wait, don’t think–just put up the extra cost for nice, proper running shoes bought from a running shoe store. Get a couple of sharp looking running outfits. This will always be a good motivating device to get you out the door.
Mix it Up
Be consistent with getting in your runs, but be sure to mix up the speed, distance, and routes. Do some quick runs like sprints, and then some slow ones. Run some hills one day, flat road the next. Keep it interesting by not doing the same thing every day.
Photo Credit: June Kim