You know that love you have for something...and sometimes you do it full out, and other times you don't do it at all, but regardless you never stop having the call to it deep inside? That's me and running. I have been running off and on since I did track in high school. I was never a "super star", but I enjoyed running sprints and meeting new people through practice. However, college, marriage, moving, and children got the best of my free time (or that's what I told myself) and I had a pretty long running hiatus...until mid-2005 when I decided to get myself moving more regularly and get healthier - and I decided to pick up running again. Since then I've completed a handful of 5K's and run many miles. I've stopped and started here and there, but I always come back to it.
Are you thinking about taking up running (again or for the first time) and don't know where to start? Here is some more info... (or jump to the blog posts about running)
Starting - Couch to 5K
So where do you start? When I wanted to get back into running, I had heard a lot of talk about a program called Couch to 5K.
Wait... WHAT? a 5K? That's like 3.1 miles! That's LONG...that's HARD...I can NOT do that! When I first read that, I tried talking myself out of it for a few days. In fact, this was my journal entry from the first day back at it:
June 25, 2005
Treadmill: 20 min Low Intensity, 6 min of running at 4.5 mph
Very tired and hard on the lungs after the 6 min of running but I made it!
In the end I decided to give it a go. Its a great program and is laid out over 9 weeks and it starts with easy intervals of jogging for a min then walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes. As you progress, the running segments lengthen. I highly recommend giving this program a try if you are interested in getting started with running! The intervals really ease you into running. And if you ever feel like you're not ready to progress onto longer intervals, simply repeat the last day or week.
One thing I hear a lot from non-runners or those just starting is that they can't make it far and have to walk a lot. Please know - there is NO shame in walking! There are actually a lot of benefits to giving your legs a quick 30 sec to 1 min break from time to time. Listen to your body - take breaks and then keep going! Jeff Galloway has an excellent site all about running with walk breaks. He's a big proponent of walk breaks, even for marathoners. He has a few great books like Galloway's Book on Running, The Run Walk Run Method, and Running Getting Started.
Improving Distance & Speed
If you've been running for even a little while, you may be wondering how to improve your distance & speed. For distance, just start adding miles! Remember the rule of thumb to increase not more than 10% each week. This means that if you run 10 miles total per week, that the next week, you shouldn't run more than 11 miles total. While there are exceptions to this, it is a good rule of thumb for avoiding injury.
For speed, your best bet is to add in some sprints and tempo runs. Sprints especially have helped me increase my speed. In this blog post I talked about one of my favorite training books: Run Less Run Faster. It is a fantastic book that helps you build your speed (and distance) by only running 3 days per week. This is a great plan for: busy people, people who like to cross train, and/or injury prone runners (raises hand!).
You can see I'm not speedy - but I love to keep track of my times. I'm my biggest competitor & I love to try to PR when I got out for a run.
|Winneconne Sovereign State 5K (7/19/14)||26:40 PR|
|Oshkosh 5K (4/21/13)||29:17|
| Fox Trot 5K (10/20/12)
| Noodleini 5K (11/27/11)
|Oshkosh 5K (4/15/11)||31:49|
|Oshkosh 5K (4/18/10)||31:25|