The olympics may inspire you to get more active. Or if you like me you caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror while wearing your bathing suit and though hmmm thats not supposed to look like that! If you’ve never been a runner it can be hard to get started but once you do – before you know it your vacations could be centered around half marathons. It’s since happened to me.
Chatelaine had some great tips on how to get into or back into running :
1. Much like quitting smoking pick a day on the calender that you will begin and call it your “go day”. Write it down and stick to it!
2. Have a running buddy.
You know what they say? Misery loves company right? Pick someone that you can run with and it makes it go by so much faster. Plus they keep you honest and if you have a friend to run with you won’t let them down.
3. Get the tunes.
Upload your favorite “go get em” tunes because if the music is right it will push you to go. Work out songs will keep you going even if you feel like you have to stop.
4. Get professional help, part 1.
Instead of going to just a local sports store go to a store designed specifically for runners and they will guide you in the right direction.
5. Get professional help, part 2.
Often times these same stores will have clinics. They’re a great way to get started. That’s how my husband and I were able to run our first half marathon.
6. You don’t need all the fancy gadgets but they are fun to have!
And this next tip is off the Chatelaine website itself :
7. Go day: Start slow.
Exactly how far and how fast you go will depend on things like your age, weight, injuries, and previous training. One word of caution: you may have a good cardiovascular system if you spend lots of time on an elliptical trainer, but you still won’t be used to the impact of running. You will likely have the ability to run much further but shouldn’t. Go too far, and the next day you’ll hurt from the eyebrows down.
So, what I’m going to offer is some basic advice that can apply to a broad group of people, but should be altered based on your specific circumstances. It is designed to minimize pain and chance of injury, and ease you into what is admittedly a very difficult behaviour to adopt. Note that you won’t burn many calories in the beginning.
For “go” day, run 1km. That’s it. Walk part of it if you have to. Do this twice in your first week.
Week 2: Run twice this week at 1.5km each time.
Week 3: Run twice this week at 2km each time.
Week 4: Run three times at 2km each time.
Week 5: Run three times at 2.5km each time
Week 6: Run three times at 3km each time
Week 7: Schedule a 5km race for week 10. Run three times at 4km each time.
Week 8: Run three times at 4.5 km each time.
Week 9: Run three times at 5km each time.
Week 10: Keep running, and kick some serious butt in that race.
Tips to keep progressing
Nine weeks to get up to 5km three times a week isn’t that fast, but it’s getting you there. You may need to go slower, or you might be able to handle faster. Be mindful of your body in terms of pain as well as personal enjoyment. Don’t burn out, but don’t get bored either. You have an important role to play in designing a program based on your unique needs.
And you want to keep pushing your limits. Running 15km a week is only the beginning. Sure, you’ll burn some calories doing this and it will be good for your fitness, but a better weekly distance is more like 30km. That’s getting into workout warrior territory. That’s when you’re really starting to blast through fat stores and get some serious health benefits. Of course, if you keep adapting yourself slowly you can continue beyond that. I rarely go fewer than 40km in a week, and am usually above 50. I know people who run a lot more than this. If you take the time to slowly push both your distance and your speed in increments, you can reach serious mileage without hurting yourself.
This may sound daunting, but if you follow through, in time you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Runners are a special breed. We’re a special breed of awesome. Join the awesome.