There are two steps to banishing the couch potato in you. “First you need a definitive starting point, which takes immediate effect,” says Christian Schiester. “Why hang around? Humans are born runners. There’s no reason not to go running.”
Forget expensive fitness trackers – the next step is to get yourself a blank sheet of paper. “Note down the kilometres you cover each day,” he says. Speed and pace aren’t important. “Even going for a walk is better than being stuck inside, sitting down.”
In Schiester’s pile of notes, which he consults every day, are details of runs through deserts and over permafrost, along with the very first metres he noted down, which he remembers all too well.
“I weighed 100kg and wanted to cover the 3km to the castle in my home town without having to stop for a rest.” His first runs were to the postbox at the end of the street. But, he says, “I didn’t give up, because I had to walk past those sheets of paper every day.”
His third tip is to reward yourself. “When you get home from a run, everything feels different: the shower, your clean clothes… At this point, you can allow yourself a beer as you watch the sunset. But you have to have got off your backside first.”
Progression is like turning a big wheel, he says. “At the start, you need a lot of strength to get it going. But the longer you keep turning, the easier it gets. Until eventually it’s almost as if it’s happening by itself.”
get going! Schiester’s tips on how to start and never stop
DO IT NOW:
Banish the excuses – once you get going, there will be no stopping you. Procrastination is futile. The starting point of an active lifestyle is right now. (Well, you can read to the end of the page…)
Grab a blank sheet of paper to note down how far you’ve run each day. It’s important to note how far you actually got, not what you’d hoped or planned to run. Leave the sheet of paper somewhere you’re likely to see it.
Everyone has something they particularly enjoy: a piece of cake, a glass of wine or curling up with a good book. But you have to earn that reward. It will be all the more enjoyable, too, if you’ve done something to deserve it.