How did you start running?
I have had a couple of questions/conversations about this recently, so I thought I would write a post about it.
I started running twice, the first time I just kinda did my own thing. Basically at first I was sprinting and walking, I find this is something a lot of new runners do, and to be honest you are making it extremely difficult on yourself. Eventually Adria was able to convince me to slow down and keep a pace that I could actually maintain for more than a minute and a half.
The second time I did the c25k program. More specifically I used the Robert UIllrey’s podcasts. They are free on iTunes, and even though they are mind numbingly boring in regard to musical selection, he gives some really great tips on what to do to get started.
With that said, here are the biggest tips I would give someone that wants to get into running.
One, you need to pick a pace you are comfortable with. Everyone wants to be able to run sub 30 5ks, but you aren’t going to be able to do that your first time out. Your comfortable running pace could be a 12 minute mile it could be a 7 minute mile, though I doubt it if it is your first time out. Either way, you just need to be able to maintain that pace for each running interval in the program.
Two, the thing that sucks about c25k is it never feel easy. What you need to think about to help you get through it is, that you are doing something on day 20 you couldn’t do on day 1. It never feels easier, which is what discourages new runners. The reason is you are constantly making it more difficult with every run.
Three, it will get easier. Once you are done c25k and decide to maintain doing the 5k run for awhile, the 5k distance will get easier and easier. You have gotten to the point that you are now a runner, and you aren’t forcing yourself to beat yourself every single run.
Four, the next level. Again you will be pushing yourself ever weekend to a longer distance. Having something like the Nike+, that tells you how awesome you are after every long run, definitely helps. I used to love hearing from Lance Armstrong or Joan Benoit Samuelson, telling me congratulation you just completely your longest run to date.
Now, go out there and get started, it won’t be any easier tomorrow.