Running to the Start Line
Hiya friends! How’s your Wednesday treating you? Supa dupa I hope…
A few days ago I wrote what has helped me get through those tough runs. A lot of you said you were just starting out runnning, and the tips helped a lot!
You’ve probably heard me mention my friend Heidi a few times on the blog. She’s my gym buddy (and a very good friend in general) and is training to run her first 5k! I introduced her to the Couch25K plan, and she’s been hooked ever since. She’s almost finished, too! I also used the couch25k plan to train for my first 5k race.
While a good training plan is key, it’s not the only thing new runners need to think about. Last May, when I dove head first into running my first 5K, I learned some great tips (some the hard way…) that helped me along. I’m currently training for my first half marathon on May 1st!
(finishing my first race, a 5k)
Before beginning an exercise program, you should check with your doctor.
- Realize that not all runs would be good runs. When training for my first 5k, I let myself be patient. There were even a couple weeks I had to repeat. If I struggled to get through all three days of training that week, I’d do it again. I feel that helped SO much instead of just moving on to the next week. I felt prepared.
- Find runner friends! I had a few runner friends that I really got to know on another level through running. They became running partners who I really value and rely on for running. Plus, getting through your first 25 minute run can be easier if there’s another body running it with you.
- Know your limits. Many beginner runners are SO eager and excited to start running that they can over do it. I did the Couch25K plan pretty much by the book. Actually, as I stated above, I repeated a couple of the weeks, but I started slow, and gradually increased the intensity (pace or hills,) duration (in minutes of miles,) and frequency (days per week.) At first. Then, I got hooked. I got excited. I was a new, over-eager runner, and I started adding more than 10% duration each week, and wound up with tendonitis. It’s very important to gradually increase the level of running. As far as intensity, start out running at YOUR pace, not at the pace you think you should be at or the pace you want to be at.
- Add in Speed Workouts. After completing the couch25k, or your basic beginner’s program, go ahead and add in one day of speed work either through tempo runs or intervals, or both. This helped me increase my 5k race pace immensely! Just make sure to vary your speed workouts with easy runs.
- Add in one long run. On the weekends, usually Sundays, I’d begin to run one long run each week. I followed the 10% rule. I’d only add 10% of the distance I previously ran, starting with 3 miles. So my very first “long run” was 3.3 miles! In this post, I considered my loong run (with two o’s!) 4.5 miles.
- Warm up and cool down during each run. Warming up let’s your body know it’s about to start working harder. It also raises your body temperature and warms up your muscles as well as gently shunting the blood away from your abdomen and to the working muscles. Cool downs prevent blood pooling in your legs and other working muscles, and bring your body gently out of a working state. Stretching is key, too. You can find a great post-run stretch routine in my fitness tab!
Seasoned runners: What tips do you have for beginner runners?
Beginner runners: what have you learned along the way so far, and what types of questions do you have?
Do you guys remember a loooong time ago I started reading New Rules of Lifting for Women and wrote a part one review on it? Well, I’m now going to start the second half – the workouts!! I’ll be tweaking them, because I kind of already have a kick-booty program that works for me, so it will be Paige-ified, but I plan on doing a review when I’m done! However, it’s probably not a grand idea to start a new program less than two weeks from my half marathon, so I’m going to begin it the week after. Just for kicks, I did the first workout this morning after running though, and so far, so good!
Well, I’ve got a long day’s work, and then meeting with a new client afterwards. So I better get going!
Have a lovely hump day!