As easy as it is to enter the running world (aka put on shoes and go run), breaking into the online runner world can be insanely intimidating and even defeating.

There is so much talk about pace and racing that I believe it can be discouraging to those looking to start running.

The paces discussed or distances noted can be so intimidating to a new runner that they feel defeated before they even start.

Well, in my little corner of the internet I want ALL runners or those who want to be runners, to feel welcome, challenged and confident they are runners simply because they run.

So here are my 5 core running principles that are the foundation of everything I feel and share about running:

1. Listening to your body > a single run/race/workout

As a 2x heart attack survivor, this is 💯 rule number 1 for me. I am out here to run until I am 80.

No individual run or race is more important than long-term health, no matter what a training plan (or my very STRONG desire to run) says.

It is definitely a whole lot easier to say when you aren’t the one who is having to take a step back in your running. However, as someone who had to drop out of the Dallas Marathon just one week prior due to heart concerns, let me tell you this:

I absolutely know how hard of a pill that is to swallow. (There were tears.)

I absolutely know it’s the right decision.

Long term health > everything else.

2. Weekly mileage does NOT determine if you are a “serious runner.”

There will be people who run more than me. There will be people who run less. C’est la vie friend!

Run what is right to push *you* further on your goals. No one else’s mileage matters.

This also applies to how you participate in a race. You do NOT have to hit a certain pace or try and finish before everyone else in your age group to be a “serious runner.”

Did you get from the start line to the finish line? Then you took it seriously.

Did you toe the start line but have to bow out before the finish due to health concerns? Then you took it seriously.

3. Pace is relative and you do not have to share yours.

Running buddies need to know your intended workout pace so you are on the same page. No one else!

Oh how it makes me nuts to see paces thrown around like “Look at me! Look at me!” I am SO happy to see fitness goals progressing and hard workouts conquered. However…

I think the running community, and sadly marathoners in particular, can become SO pace obsessed that it’s intimidating to anyone NOT able to hit that number or looking to join us in this world.

I want ALL the people who want to run, to take that first step. Then another and another after that.

So yeah, you won’t see my paces flashed around here because pace (fast or easy) is RELATIVE.

Body composition, training, and flat out genetics can make what feels “fast” for me look like a snail’s pace to some or Lighting McQueen speed to others.

The ONLY person to share a pace with is the one you plan to run with for that specific workout to make sure you are on the same page.

4. Forward is a pace.

Coach, author and runner Amanda Brooks wrote this super succinct line in her book “Run to the Finish” and it quickly summed up all my running thoughts on pace.

After my heart attacks I had one goal at cardiac rehab: run again. You know what pace I wanted to hit?

Forward.

Legit one step, then another. Eventually I could walk a block without needing to sit down.

Then I made it up to “jogging” again. 6 minutes at first, then 12 minutes and so on…

Eventually, I ran a marathon. Then I ran 6 more. (Plus one more on deck soon.)

As long as you are still going FORWARD then you are doing the damn thing. Keep it up!!!

Progress at the right pace for YOUR body and training goals.

(This is also where I recommend a coach – or two – to help you create the right plan to challenge you with injuring yourself.)

5. Running is FUN! 

I believe this with my heart and soul. I don’t run to torture myself or to lose weight. I run because it’s FUN and it challenges me.

Reminds me that ‘ole saying:

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

Nail, meet Head.

I have changed in so many ways because of the confidence I gained in myself and my abilities. All through running.

Add in the people I’ve met along the way to chat with and a few costumes and this sh*t only gets better.

If this hits home with you, then I’d love to have you come join my corner of the internet so I can cheer for and WITH you as we tackle this running game together.

Find me here and let’s connect!

Author

Channing Muller is an award winning marketing & public relations consultant and the principal of DCM Communications, based out of Chicago. She works with event professionals and business owners to grow and scale their businesses with refined marketing strategies developed through one-on-one and group consulting, customized marketing programs and public relations. She has been named a "25 Young Event Pro to Watch" by Special Events magazine and "40 Under 40" by Connect Meetings. Channing is an avid runner, lover of Labrador Retrievers, good food, delicious drinks, and an advocate for the American Heart Association.

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