Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HOW to start running

I get lots of questions from people in real life and on the FB about how on earth a human can run more than 50 yards without a) being chased by someone with a loaded gun or b) without legit stroking out.

The answer is simple.  No matter how great of shape you are in, you can't just go out and run 10 miles, or a 5k, or even 5 minutes for that matter, without training your body as well as having the proper gear.   Running is a different beast.   

So if you want to "learn" to run or even learn to "like" to run, this post is for you.  

  Step one.  You HAVE to go get your stride analyzed and get fit for a proper running shoe.  Go to your local running store.  They will make you get barefoot,  put you on a treadmill, and analyze your stride.   And no, you don't even need to know how to run while they analyze your stride.  You can do what you would "think" would be a run or jog.  I've been to many running stores and they are all awesome.   Although, for my Columbus folks, I prefer Fleet Feet.  The employees there are awesome and professional and some of them run in  my running group.  Just saying.  They are good peeps. 

So anyway,  they will then figure out what kind of shoe you need, all based on your stride.    They'll give you several ideas of what could work.    You can either purchase right then and there or take their recommendations and get on and try to find a cheaper price.  I usually purchase right then and there out of sheer laziness.     But really, I've never felt pressure to purchase at any running store.  True story.  

The interesting thing is, I've had my stride analyzed numerous times and I always come back with the same "prescription."    It always boils down to one of the Mizuno Wave Rider's, which I LOVE.   They work for me.  

 There is no doubt that there is a method to the madness.   I guess my point is, don't minimize the need for the proper shoes.

Now it's time to get moving.   Depending on your fitness level, you need to at least be able to walk at a very brisk pace for 30 minutes without stopping before you consider running.   Oh and for the record,  when I say "running," I mean NOT walking.  So a shuffle in the forward motion that is NOT a walk, is indeed running.
  If you can't walk briskly for 30 minutes,  you will need to work up to this.    4-5 walking sessions per week and you'll be there in no time.   

If you are ready, the very best way to start running for a true beginner is the walk/ run method.   You are going to run for 4 or 5 minutes and walk for 1 minute.    You will repeat this for 30 minutes.     You will need to repeat this workout 4 times per week.  5, if you are feeling frisky.
 You will hate this while it's happening but you will feel awesome and depleted after this 30 minutes.   Promise.  

I  recommend keeping this up for 2-3 weeks before you increase the running segments.   If you are ready and feeling good, you can increase the running segments to 7 or 8 minutes, while still keeping the 1 minute of walking.    Again, repeat this cycle for 30 minutes for 4-5 times per week.      Keep this cycle up for another 2-3 weeks.

Depending on the fitness level that you were at when you started, you should be feeling pretty darn good, yet  challenged.

 You can add on 5 or 10 minutes of the cycle and see where it takes you.   You can also try eliminating some (or all) of the walking segments.    Within about 8-10 weeks, you should be at a point where you can at least hold a slow run or jog consistently for 30 minutes.   If you can't, no big deal.   Keep the walking increments in there but set a guideline for yourself.  If you just walk whenever you feel the urge, you will never be able to hold the run.  So at this point, it becomes a little mind over matter and you may have to really convince yourself to stay with the run until it's officially time to walk.   Mmkay?

So now you are technically officially a "runner."

How to Stay Motivated...  

1. Sign up for a 5k.   You'll do it.  You'll hate it.  You'll feel awesome and amazed at yourself and want to tell everyone about it and next thing you know, you've signed up for another.

2.  Join a running club.   I can't say enough about the positive relationships and support that come from a running club.  You'll meet other newbies who are in your exact same boat.     You'll bond over your doubt and cluelessness.  You'll cheer each other on when you figure out that anyone can run and in fact, you're doing it.   So yeah, if you have a local running club, join it stat.

Yes there is a lot more involved in getting started in running and running in general.   However, we have plenty of time for that.  If you want to run or be a runner, the truth is anyone can do it.   Whatcha waiting for?   


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  2. I just discovered your blog. LOVE this. This describes me... I just had my second little human 6 months ago and trying to run atlases 3x's a week. My endurance stinks!! It takes me 25 min to run two miles and I'm embarrassed to say there's a lot of walking involved. Everyone keeps saying " these things take time, besides you just had a baby" and I know there is truth in what they are saying... I'm just ready to see improvements. Truth is I wasn't e very good runner before I started having babies. I think my best 5k time was a 28 min. I want to be better and I know I can do better.
    I love your blog and am super excited that I found it. I look forward to reading more of what you have to say. ;)