If you’ve scrolled through Instagram or TikTok lately you won’t be surprised to read that running is very much in vogue. 

But, for the non-runners among us, whose curiosity may have been piqued, how do you get started?

Two running coaches share their thoughts on why it’s something you shouldn’t try to rush.

‘Turtle pace’ 

Carly Pevreall is a running coach “helping women embrace the turtle pace and feel good through running”.

She says despite what we’re taught at school — to run fast and be first — building up distance gradually and running slowly is how you can learn to enjoy running.

“The magic of running lies on the other side of running slow.”

Carly Pevreall says running became a way to escape during the pandemic.(Supplied: Carly Pevreall)

Carly — who is based in Adelaide on traditional Country of the Kaurna people — says she had enjoyed running inconsistently for years but on the eve of a COVID lockdown she bought a treadmill.

She says it was the first time she was running to feel good mentally, rather than to achieve purely physical goals.

It became a passion she’s prioritised ever since.

In January 2023, she decided to obtain her running coach certification, because she wanted to know how best to return to running after an injury.

Ditching the ‘fear and embarrassment’ 

Carly says we’re not taught to run slowly and many of us are embarrassed to do so.

“There’s always kind of been a negative association attached to running slow and part of my messaging is trying to change that.

“It’s so easy to think that person running fast past you is judging you because you’re running slow.

 “The reality is — excuse my language — no-one gives a shit about you and what you’re doing.”

If you’ve just started running, Carly says, “it’ll literally just take a few weeks before you’re running 15 minutes straight.”

“But it is about just building gradually, starting out slowly”.

And slowly, Carly says, means incorporating walking, too.

“Walking is an essential part of becoming a runner and staying a runner”.

She says most women in her program start running in 30-second intervals with about 4 minutes of walking.

Finding a good free app or running program online can be helpful — but she warns some of the popular ones, such as couch to 5k can be too advanced for some beginners.

Work towards a goal

Ultra-marathoner and women’s running coach Lyndal Maloney says the main mistake people make “is that they try to do too much too soon and then give up because they hurt themselves or they find it too difficult.”

She lives in the Blue Mountains, within the traditional country of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples, and says, “always start with a run/walk interval program”.

Lyndal Maloney says it’s important to set goals and incentivise running.(Supplied: Lyndal Maloney)

Lyndal says working toward a specific goal can help keep “motivation high”.

“Maybe pick a race in 6 months’ time to work towards.”

Or, she suggests Parkrun as a great alternative, “especially for community and connection, without the anxiety associated with entering and training for a race”.

Lyndal also says finding a beautiful spot where you can run can help get you out of bed or off the couch at the end of the day.

“The nicer the location, the more enticing it is to get out and run.”

As slowly as you like.

Posted , updated