Chapter 27

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27: Boost your Self-Esteem by Running

Running is a great self-esteem booster, especially if you are a beginning runner. Running will allow you to test and expand your limits like never before. With each milestone you reach you will find yourself more confident and able to take on the world.

Starting out slow reaps big rewards
Even if you can’t run to the mailbox without huffing and puffing, you can run to boost self-esteem. The first time you run to the mailbox, down the street, around the block or whatever distance it is, you will feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment. The first time you go out, you will probably do a lot more walking than you will in running. However, if you keep at it, you will soon find yourself running more and more until one day you run the entire route without stopping.

The important thing to remember is to start out slow and not overdo it in the beginning. Your body does need to adjust to your new activity levels, especially if you previously lead a sedentary lifestyle. Overdoing it and causing overuse injuries can be a big discouragement, especially after seeing the progress that you made. Most people won’t want to increase their weekly mileage by more than 10%. However, do what works best for you, some people can handle a larger mileage increase and others need to increase the mileage much more slowly.

Running is 90% mental
Despite how your muscles may feel, 90% of running is purely the mental capacity to be able to do it. Building up this side of your brain by telling yourself you can do it, you can finish the race, you can run for 30 minutes non-stop, or whatever your goal is will invariably be a surefire way to build up your self-esteem. What happens is that while running, in order to finish, you will have to come up with some good things to say to yourself, often referred to as positive self-talk. This self-talk not only gets you through your current run but will start seeping into the rest of your life and you’ll find yourself using it at work while doing dishes and burdensome tasks will no longer feel so bad.

Goal setting
With running, you can set goals large and small. For the beginning runner, a good goal might be to complete a local 5k. You with undoubtedly enjoy the sense of accomplishment – not to mention the bragging rights at the office.

Remember to set realistic goals for running and you’ll build up your self- esteem – and miles – much faster.

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