For whatever reason you have become interested in running, I want to encourage you to give it try. But before you start worrying about whether or not you will ever be able to win a 5k or finish a marathon, you need to just focus on one thing--becoming a runner. Looking too far ahead will likely discourage you. There are already several excuses you have probably given as to why you don't think you can be a runner. Just about everyone uses the same excuses (some are legitimate concerns, and some...mainly just fears). Honestly, some excuses are just given so that you have something to fall back on after you quit (I know, I used to give them too!).
Well, I hope you won't keep making excuses, and I hope that after you start running you won't quit. Following are the most common excuses I hear (many I used to use myself) from people who say they want to run but can't. I'll attempt to eliminate some of these for you:
1. "I'm not built to be a runner"
Answer: So, be a jogger! Hardly anyone starts out with a runner's body, and many never get them. I've been running for several years, even ultramarathons, and people ask me all the time why I'm not built like other runners. I'm 6'2" and I typically weigh around 230 lbs. I'm glad I don't have the stereotypical body, to be honest! My frame may slow me down a bit, but I didn't become a runner to win races. I use what I've got to accomplish what I want to accomplish, and you can probably do the same.
2. "I have asthma"
Answer: This is another problem I can relate to. It has practically gone away now, but before I started running, I used to use an inhaler for my asthma. Many athletes have asthma, and I can't guarantee it (nor do I have the scientific facts in front of me to present a proper case), but if you are like me, it will actually get better when you get your lungs in shape. You may have to start out really slow, but that is okay!
3. "I have knee problems"
Answer: This is probably one of the most common reasons I hear for why someone doesn't run. I have never had any real knee problems, so I can't say much about this, but I have heard many people say that this problem went away after they learned proper running form, which I explain in another article. If you learn to run properly, you might not have the knee problems.
4. "Running is boring"
Answer: You have either been running on a treadmill, or you have never been on a trail! If you don't like running alone, you can usually find friends to go with you. If long runs are boring, make them short and fast--you might be the sprinting type (but be careful! Faster runners seem to be in danger of more frequent injuries)
5. "I don't want to get too skinny"
Answer: Some might laugh at this, but I have actually heard it. In fact, it was a concern of mine at first because I was also lifting weights. Weightlifters do NOT want to be skinny. Fortunately, with plenty calories (especially protein) in your diet, you won't really lose muscle. If anything, you will lose fat...and who doesn't want to do that?
6. "I've heard running is bad for you"
Answer: You've probably heard that from fat people who don't run! I'm not being mean; it is just true. Rarely do you hear anything but stories of improved health and all around fitness from people who actually run. That being said, I did break my leg trying to run on ice...if that is what you mean, then yes, it can be bad for you; but so can walking across the Walmart parking lot in the winter!