Do you enjoy running for exercise, or maybe even just for fun? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try it, but you don’t know how to start. I’m here with tips to help you.
I haven’t always been a runner. It’s taken me a long, LONG time to appreciate the health benefits of a 30 minute run a few times a week. Not only does it boost my sometimes boring workout routine, but it gives me 30 minutes of peace. 30 minutes when no one needs me, I don’t have chores looming over my head and I can focus on me.
In middle school and high school I was on the track team. I really took for granted then, like we all do, that I would not be a fit 110 pound girl forever. I think I was on the team for mostly social reasons…and I had a boyfriend at the time who played baseball and our practices we on adjoining fields. Ah to be 16 again!
OK, back to real life. It was hard for me to start running again. I would make a few laps at the gym and be exhausted. I had a friend, Isabelle, who helped me get back on the horse and kicked my butt in gear.
I also downloaded a program to my Ipod that was very helpful. It is a free program through itunes called Couch to 5K or C25K. With this program you have set runs every week. The first one is a brisk walk for 2 minutes followed by a 1 minute jog. These times go up incrementally each day/week. By the time you are done you have run a 5K (3.25 miles) at once. The thing is, by using interval running it makes it much more manageable. I have recommended this to so many people and really haven’t gotten much in the way of negative feedback.
You can use this through an ipod, iphone or Android phone (which is what I have). My phone program also tracks my progress, mph and distance. Less thinking for me!
Something else I need for a good run is a great play list of music. I have 3 running play lists that are roughly 30 minutes long. I would like to say that I have sorted these by my mood/activity level. 1 list is just a bunch of songs I like, 1 is a grouping of songs from NikeBoom and the other is loud, somewhat angry sounding metal. I blame my husband for that one!
Along with these 2 things I have to have comfortable clothes and a good pair of shoes. I have gone 2 routes with shoes depending on how much I want to spend. I have found several great pairs at DSW. Actually my favorite pair, Saucony, are from there. I have also gotten a few from the Running Company. I ran on the treadmill and got fit for a pair that helped with my tendency to over-pronate (my ankle turns in a little) and that has helped a lot. I tend to be a “clearance at Target” kind of shopper. My running outfits consist of mix and match pieces that I have accumulated over time. But they fit and are comfortable so that is all that matters to me!
My husband and I enjoy running now as a hobby. Well, Matt does a lot more than I do. He has only recently picked this up and has really taken off! He can run 7 miles and feel that he could have done more. Infuriating! Really, though he has gotten in the best shape of his life and really has developed a great runners stride that I admire. We are always trying to think of new things to do together as a family outdoors. I found out about this racing series that is based out of Monroe County http://www.mag7raceseries.com/ that is a series of road races for all ages centered around Bloomington, my hometown. We have already signed up for several and with the fees for each totaling up much less than a dinner for 4 at a restaurant! Some are at festivals that are about an hour from our house so we can make a day of it.
Both of my sons enjoy running for exercise, but competitively, too. My oldest is on the cross country team and my youngest will be someday as well. Last September I formed a team for the Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5K run. I had a small team but we did so well! My husband came in 4th for his age group and both of my sons WON for their age groups!!!
It was an exciting day for our whole family as well as a beautiful course. My parents also walked and a coworker of mine, Nancy McDowell ran with me. She is quite a runner and really had to “slow down” to keep up with my turtle like pace! She kept me motivated and cheered me on when I just about gave up.
It was a very humbling day and I walked away feeling like a better person for having participated in this.
So, if you decide running for exercise may be something you want to try for the first time or just get reacquainted with, don’t be afraid to try it. I was very heavy when I started and I had to get over the “jiggle factor”. It just motivated me to run more. I have let a few obstacles get me down and I have taken several breaks but I am ready to get back in my routine. I am healthy, young and I want to be active and experience life to the fullest with my husband and kids.
Have a great week ????