Disclaimer: This post is kind of long. So for those of you who don’t care anything about running…I decided to start this post off with some awesome old photos for your enjoyment. And then you can scroll past the entire rest of the post. 🙂 If you want to know more about my journey to become a runner, then by all means…read on! I hope that I inspire someone else to get out on the road!
(you can click on the photo for a larger version) I love these photos. They inspire me. My dad started running later in life (late 30’s early 40’s) and in fact ran a 1/2 marathon the day after his 42nd birthday! His time was a crazy-fast 99 minutes which is about a 7min-40sec-per-mile pace. I run 11 minute miles on a good day. If you’re thinking about running at all….you’ll want to keep reading. If not…I hope you enjoyed the old photos! Lets look at that one of me one more time….
As of yesterday, I am officially a registered participant in the Country Music Half Marathon on April 28th, 2012 in Nashville, TN. Hubs and I registered online and it seems so surreal….after almost eight weeks of running with the intention of running the half, I’m now an officially registered participant! Now I really have to get after it! I wanted to post a running update today because if you’re anything like me, running 13.1 miles sounds completely overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Not that I’m any running coach, but I’ve learned a few things over the past month and a half, and I thought I’d share them here in case you wanted to give it a try as well.
I started on January 1st by walk/jogging 2 miles. I think that day I was only able to run about a quarter of a mile when I was gasping for breath and had to stop. But I kept at it. Even if I had to walk the entire thing, I made sure that I worked out every day. And my minimum was two miles. Because I found that running on the road made my joints really tired at first, I’d alternate running outside and getting on the elliptical machine at the gym where I’m a member. I have a calendar where I log each day how many miles I ran/walked/did on the elliptical and how many minutes it took to complete. You could easily use a notebook as well, but I kind of like looking at it on the calendar and being able to see it all at once. It doesn’t really matter how you record it, the important thing is to write it down so you can visually see your progress. And if you don’t work out on a certain day, write “Rest Day.”
Find a training program:
Husband and I are using a Hal Higdon training program and we really like it. Hal is very well respected and has lots of programs to accomplish various training goals from running 30 minutes straight all the way to improving upon your previous marathon time. (I doubt I’ll ever need that one.) We chose the Novice 1 program because it was the most “beginner” of Hal’s 1/2 marathon programs. If that program looks too difficult, then you could start with one of his 5K or 10K training programs and work up and then do the Novice 1 program. Novice 1 is a 12 week program, but day one is a 3 mile run, and since as previously discussed I was no where near being able to complete that, I took 6 weeks to get in a running routine before beginning the program. It made a huge difference and I’ve had no trouble at all starting the official program. If you don’t think Hal is for you, there are lots of other training programs out there…Runnersworld.com has a great one as does Jeff Galloway. Whichever one you pick, stick with it.
Find a training buddy:
Again, I’m lucky on this one as I have a built in training buddy in the form of my husband who has run several halves and even one whole in the past and was excited about an opportunity to get back in shape and spend time with me. But if you don’t have a live-in buddy in the form of a spouse, sibling, parent, or roommate, find another friend who is willing to meet up and run. Or join a running group. There are lots (especially in cities that host 1/2 marathons) of groups that meet to train for specific events…you can usually find them through a local boutique running shop, gym, YMCA or even sometimes a church. And if you absolutely can’t find anyone in your area that’s willing to train with you, might I suggest a long distance friend that can be a running-accountability partner.
Invest in some basic gear:
You can easily spend lots of money on running stuff…but it’s not necessary (in my opinion) until you’re sure that you’ll stick with it. But I think investing in a few basics is well worth it. Or at least, I invested in a few basics and I’ve been more than happy with what I decided to spend money on. I purchased a heart rate monitor which is helpful to keep you in a safe heart rate zone…and gives you something to look at while you run. And while there are awesome GPS watches out there, I prefer to use the Nike+GPS ap on my iPhone. It tracks pace, route and time and even lets you connect to Facebook so people can cheer you on when you run! I wear it on my arm in a Tunebelt armband. I’d also recommend comfortable running shoes. Running clothes can also be really expensive, but I’ve had great luck at TJMaxx getting name brands for cheap as well as Target has a great line of work out attire.
Map out routes:
I’m blessed to live in a very runner-friendly neighborhood. We have sidewalks (almost) everywhere and it’s easy to run 2, 3 or even 6 miles without ever getting off a sidewalk. And while I always wear my iPhone with my Nike+GPS ap going to track time and pace (even if I already know the distance), I’ve found it helpful to map out several routes of different lengths. If you don’t have a GPS watch or ap, you can easily do this the old-fashioned way by setting the trip odometer on your car and driving in a loop! I’d recommend finding a 2, 3 and 5 mile route for sure so you don’t have to think when you go out to run…you’ll always know where you’re going!
OK folks. That’s all I’ve got…and I know that’s plenty. Again, I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I thought I’d pass along what I know. And because lots of you probably know more than I do, today’s Question is, “what running tips can you give me?”