Having stated an opinion that one should try to run at least an 11:00 mile, I have now reconsidered and feel that I should clarify lest anyone feel bad for running slower than that. First of all, I agree that ANY running is better than NO running. I want to encourage all beginners to just get out there and move your legs and see where you end up and enjoy the experience without being too critical of yourself. The benefits of exercise are worth any embarrassment you may feel for being overweight, slow, dressed ‘wrong’, or not knowing all the cool running lingo. So just go! And go often!
Secondly, my real point when I said I found those memes illogical or dumb is that I think it’s good to push yourself and see what you can do. According to the laws of nature, not everyone can possibly win every race or run the exact same pace. But find out what YOU are capable of, because it is in the striving that you will find much satisfaction. You may start at walking a 20:00 mile,then jog a little and be able to finish that mile in 17:00. Later you may run faster during your jog periods and complete the mile in 15:00 and be quite proud of yourself and you should be! The day may come, and it does for many, that you complete an entire mile running and you will feel like an Olympian! Or you may be able to walk really fast and pass some of the slower runners. I hate when that happens! Keep stretching yourself and discover the joy of meeting a self chosen challenge.
It’s not about a certain pace, it’s about not settling for less than your best because you never even tried. However, I do understand that not everyone has the same reasons for lacing up and heading to a trail, race, park , or neighborhood, or even gym. You may have no care in the world about pace and are just out there enjoying the weather or talking with a friend. More power to ya! You may enjoy raising money for causes by doing charity fun runs or walks. That’s awesome and the world needs you. But for the rest of us, don’t be afraid to set a goal of improving your pace or meeting a certain race time. The rewards are worth it!