1. It’s okay to start off slow.
The very first time I started running, I sucked. I was out of breath literally after two minutes. Being able to complete an entire lap seemed impossible at best, so I instantly gave up. I eventually started again, but this time, I did not stop. I ran pathetic 5 minute laps with a lot of breaks in between for two full weeks until one day, I was able to run for 15 minutes straight. 15 minutes! That was a huge improvement from my first day of running. (Don’t laugh, marathon runners!)
So remember, if you just started running – running 2 minutes a day is still more than you used to do before, and it still contributes to your body’s strength-building. You get better as long as you keep it up. This goes for any other endeavor. It’s okay to suck at the beginning. Practice makes perfect!
2. Always try to be better than you were the day before.
Cardio is only effective as long as you are trying to increase stamina. Once people fall into the same cardio routine, they stop burning fat. Thus, in order for their cardio exercises to continue being effective, they have to accelerate their routines on a regular basis. The more you practice, the better you become.
I find that the same principle applies to life in general. Once you get too comfortable and stop challenging yourself, you don’t improve. You stagnate, and eventually become ineffective. Most notable achievements are results of people pushing boundaries and going where they haven’t gone before.
3. Enjoy the journey.
Most of the time, we take up running to achieve something – whether it’s a killer body, superhuman strength, or a 1st place ribbon at the end of a race. All of these things take a lot of time and practice before we are rewarded. While it is good to have a goal in mind, that goal may take awhile, so you might as well enjoy the journey meanwhile! Enjoy the scenery, the sunset, the killer beat on your iPod, and burning off your workday stress. You still gain something at the end of every day.