While many of us are planning our vacations during the summer, you may consider taking up one of the easiest and most rewarding past times; running. Our area has many groups that specialize in helping people connect with area runs and personal trainers. There are also many groups that have couch to 5K programs that help you in 6 to 8 weeks be able to run comfortably within your level 3.1 miles.
Running has the power to change your life. It will make you fitter, healthier, and even happier. You’ve seen them running effortlessly down your street those runners that make you wish you were young again, but the answer to your wish is within your grasp or should I say feet. The best preparation to start running, is to walk, and I mean a lot of walking. This is one sport that takes time to master and even the elite runners are always training to become better at the sport. The best thing for me about running is no matter how slow or fast I go it is just me and the street. It gives me a chance to think about nothing but the motion of my feet and breathing. There is no age limit to running, you can start at any age. At the most recent Boston Marathon they 81 year old Claude Buisson run his first marathon ever in his life.
So you are ready to start running? The first and most important thing to do is to invest in good running shoes, and for women a high impact sports bra. Then plan a schedule when you are going to run. Many runners run with a partner that keeps them accountable and is also good for company. Pick someone who is at the same level as you or maybe someone with a little experience running. I personally have tried running in the early evening, late at night, or early morning and find that most runners pick the mornings because that is the coolest part of the day and you get it off your to do list. As you begin with a brisk pace for 20 minutes or so, you should find yourself ready for more not over extended. The next thing you should invest in is a good refillable sports water bottle, there are many different types some that fit around your waist to keep your hands free, some that are like a back pack, and some are handheld. This is something you will have to experiment with what type you prefer. Hydration is very important especially in the summertime because your body sweats more due to the humidity. One thing you don’t want to do is drink too much water before you run because it will be sloshing around in your stomach. Best to drink sips as you needed. About one half hour before you run get some type of protein, banana, oatmeal, sports drink or energy bar so you will have the energy to go on your run.
Now that you are ready to take yourself off the couch remember it is about making it a habit even it is for a few minutes a day. Keep a training log of your progress but don’t worry about your time. Go for distance. Keep it slow and build gradually on your pace. As you see progress remember to set small achievable goals. Most important is to remember the following quote by Bart Yasso: “I often hear someone say I’m not a “real” runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I have never met a “fake” runner.” The finish line to your running goal is within your grasp! Now go run for it!