Friday, June 17, 2011

You: A Runner- Part 2 of 3

Yesterday I told you how I came from the "I'm not a runner" mindset and morphed into a serious and somewhat decent runner.  Today is when I tell you how.

Why-Figure out why you want to be a runner.  Do you need a stress reliever?  Need to torch some calories?  For me the reason was I needed a portable workout.   When I was in college all I had ever done for fitness was swim.  As I started traveling more and even on my visits home to my parents', finding a place to swim proved difficult.  And when I did find a pool, nothing was more aggravating than showing up and finding a hard core water aerobics class taking up the pool (is there such a thing?!?!?).  I needed a workout that I could do anywhere, and running was it. 

Get the Right Gear- At the very least, you need a pair of running shoes that fit well.  Running in your retro Pumas is not going to make it enjoyable-  especially when you wake up the next morning with the worl's worst case of shin splints.    If you have some extra cash buy a good pair of shorts and a good sports bra (for the ladies).  You are set.

Start Small-  I will never forget my first run.  I got on the treadmill and told myself I was going to get to 1 mile.  And I did.  I have no recollection of how long it took but I remember that it sucked.  I went back to the gym and did it twice more that week. I ran 3x per week, adding a half mile each week until I was at 3 miles.   Adding mileage like that is manageable and a good way to stay injury free.  No need to make your first run a 5 miler and then sit out for the next 6 months.  Start small and you are more likely to get it done.   

Get Past the Threshold-  The first month or so of running is not all roses and butterflies.  It is a new challenge for your body and it is hard work.   If you give up during that first month, or are not consistently running a few times per week, it will never become enjoyable.  Those first 4 weeks are crucial in the process of becoming a runner.  Likewise, the first mile or two of every workout is never when you feel amazing.  It takes your body a while to get warmed up and for those endorphins to kick in.  Do yourself a favor and get your runs at least 3 miles (once you are ready).  That is when the runners high kicks in and it gets fun.

Which brings me to the final portion of You: A Runner- the last part will tell you how to LOVE running.  I am serious!  It can be done.  Check in after the weekend to find out how-
-Coach A

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