Anyone, at any age, at any weight, at any stage in there lives can take that step towards a healthier lifestyle and become a runner. We shared with you in a recent post some Beginner Running Tips with some advice to help you get started in becoming a runner.
Today we have guest author Tim Joseph who is going to share his experience in becoming a runner and sharing some advice and his 9 week program to help make you a runner as well.
Runners have always fascinated me. Most of my adult life I have been out of shape. In high school it was a different story. I played basketball year round. I was the center for my high school team and would play start to finish.
I never had a problem with running for 40 minutes in a game while playing defense and offense. But in my early 30’s I would drive down the road and see people running and wonder how they were able to keep going. I longed to be able to do what they were doing.
I was 80 pounds overweight, out of shape and had just recovered from a torn calf muscle. I told my wife one day I was going to go walk around the block. I did this seven days in a row before my wife suggested interval training. I had never heard of interval training.
When you run, you run and you run until you’re done or you fail. This is what I always thought anyway. I started doing intervals and found very quickly that I was becoming a runner. I started on a nine week program and told myself if it took me the rest of my life I was going to run a 5k someday.
I had up and down days. You will never find a program that is easy all the time. There were days that ended in disappointment because I struggled so much. Struggle is part of the process. When you neglect your body as long as I did it takes it a while to redevelop into a runner’s body. If you keep going and persist you will win.
At first running will not be easy but will be manageable. You’ll be able to do it. You’ll need to be aware of a few things. Your body will not be happy about you running. It isn’t going to know what you’re doing. It’ll hurt at times and want to stop but you need to find ways to stay motivated.
With that said, if the pain becomes too bad you need to find out if you’re pushing yourself too hard. You don’t want to risk injury.
A couple of common places you’ll feel the bad kind of pain is in your anterior calf and your knees. Also, if your hamstring or quad muscles seem strained then you need to rest up a couple of days. These are also areas where you’ll feel good pain, pain where your body is just trying to get itself in shape.
You will also want to drink plenty of water before every run. I never stopped at one glass of water, I always went for the second glass.
Also, don’t go too fast. Worry about speed when you get in shape. I ran a 14 minute mile at the end of my program. I know people who run slower. Run at a pace where you can still have a conversation if someone was with you.
I often run on the road but in the winter I run on a treadmill. Treadmill running is a lot different than road running. To me it was better because you could regulate your conditions. I like to set up a program, if my treadmill has it that raises and lowers the incline to simulate hills. If your treadmill does not do this automatically then you can raise and lower it yourself. Also, when you go from a level surface to and incline you work a difference set of muscles so it gives your other muscles a little rest.
Try not to feel anxiety about not being able to do the program. If you struggle with week one then try a week zero where you run for 30 seconds and walk for 60. I promise that you’ll eventually be able to run the full program. Take your time, pace yourself and become a runner!
Here is the program that helped me achieve my goal of running a 5k. It took me longer than 9 weeks because I took some extra days of rest here and there. Stick with it and I promise it’ll work.
5 minute warm up walk then for 20 minutes run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds. You will run these intervals 8 times then a cool down walk for 5 minutes.
5 minute warm up walk then 20 minutes of intervals. Run 90 seconds, walk 2 minutes. 5 minute cool down.
5 minute warm up walk then this set of intervals twice. 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk. Remember to do that twice then 5 minute cool down.
5 minute warm up then 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run, 2 1/2 minute walk, 3 minute run, 90 second walk, 5 minute run.
Day 1- 5 minute warm up. 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, 5 minute cool down
Day 2- 5 minute warm up. 8 minute run, 3 minute walk, 8 minute walk. 5 minute cool down.
Day 3- 5 minute warm up. 20 minute run. 5 minute cool down.
Day 1- 5 minute warm up. 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 8 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, 5 minute cool down
Day 2- 5 minute warm up. 10 minute run, 3 minute walk, 10 minute run. 5 minute cool down.
Day 6- 5 minute warm up. 25 minute run. 5 minute cool down.
All 3 days – 5 minute warm up, 25 minute run, 5 minute cool down.
5 minute warm up, 28 minute run, 5 minute cool down.
5 minute warm up, 30 minute run, 5 minute cool down.
If you need help timing your runs there are plenty of running apps and interval training podcasts on the internet.
Author Bio: Tim Joseph writes a health and fitness blog dedicated to his Minimalist Workout. Http://MinimalistWorkout.Wordpress.Com