When you first start running, your inexperience could lead to unnecessary worries. Any ideas you have about the sport are probably based on assumptions or things you’ve heard from other people. Well, we’re here to help you relax, because most of these worries are unfounded. There are plenty of misconceptions you’ll discover to be false as you progress in the sport, but here are five you can forget about right away.
You have to run a marathon
Everyone always talks about the marathon, and as a result, new runners can get the feeling that they should run one. That’s not the case at all. If the marathon was the only race that mattered, it would be the only race—period. There are so many other race distances and options to choose from, however, so you should never feel like you have to run any one in particular. You may one day choose to run a marathon, but it’s a big commitment (about four months of training), and if you never feel that pull to do so, it’s perfectly fine.
running is expensive
Yes, running can be expensive if you let it, but it really doesn’t have to break the bank. You should invest in a good pair of shoes (these will not only help you perform well, but the right shoe can also go a long way in preventing injuries), and one or two pieces of technical apparel certainly make the experience more comfortable, but that’s pretty much where the list of “must-haves” ends.
There’s also the matter of races, which can also get pricy. The great thing about running is that there are races everywhere, and while you can drop a pretty penny on a major race in a big city, there will always be smaller local races for a fraction of the price. A 5K in a big city surrounded by thousands of other people is the same distance as a 5K in your hometown, so if you want to race inexpensively, opt for smaller events close to home.
You need to be fast
Speed is, of course, a significant component of running, but while plenty of people will discuss their average pace and their race times, you don’t have to be fast to have fun in the sport. It’s great if speed and fast times motivate you to run and to chase PBs, but it’s perfectly fine to run for the fun of it and to forget about your pace altogether.
Running is a solo sport
While running is a solo competition on race day, it doesn’t mean you have to run alone at all times. You can run with a friend or a group every day if you like; an online search will usually yield groups and clubs you never knew existed–or you might opt to simply run with friends.
you have to race
Just as you don’t have to ever run a marathon, you also don’t have to race. If you find joy in running for its own sake and don’t need competition to drive you, that’s great. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that you have to race if it’s not your thing.