Disclaimer: Please don't start any new workouts without checking with your doctor and I am not a licensed fitness professional.
I wasn't always a runner, in fact I could barely finish the mile in the maximum allotted time in high school. I just kind of fell into running because it was good cardio conditioning for martial arts. When I was big into Tae Kwon Do and sparred all the time, we had 3 two minute rounds in tournaments, so I needed some serious conditioning to not get winded during that. Running was a perfect way to build that endurance.
In my opinion, running is hands down the hardest cardio workout you can do. You have to keep your heart rate elevated for a long period of time and it's a high impact workout that can take a toll on your joints.
- Start slowly. I hear great things about the Couch to 5K program but I think if you're already fairly fit from doing other workouts, it wouldn't take you 9 weeks to get ready to run 3.1 miles. Remember that rest days are your friend and that running is too hard on your body to do every day.
- Drop the "all or nothing" attitude: Running is a lot like yoga. There are going to be poses you can't do (or hills you can't run) and there might be days when you can. Whether it's dropping down to child's pose in yoga or taking a walk break on a run, it doesn't mean your workout doesn't count or you should give up. Everyone has bad run days!
- Invest in some gear. Don't go nuts and buy tons of stuff that you probably don't need yet, but don't start running without good shoes and socks. If you can, go to a running store and get fitted for running shoes. Yes, a good pair of running shoes is usually 100 bucks, but it's cheaper than a knee replacement. For socks, I recommend Thorlos for preventing blisters.
- Set a goal: Find a race to enter or set a time goal (like lowering your mile time). I find that it's much easier to motivate yourself to get out there and run (even in icky conditions) if you have a race on the horizon.
- Find a buddy: Maybe it's your spouse, maybe it's a coworker, or maybe it's even your dog, but running with someone else is a fun way to challenge yourself. Nothing is more motivating to get faster than to run with someone who is faster than you! Also, chatting while running makes the miles fly by. Well, maybe not so much with your dog. People will look at you strangely if you chat with your dog while running.
If you are training for your first half, I recommend this training plan, it's designed for 1st timers and it's very popular for a reason!
Does anyone have any tips to add?
What was your first race? I did a Turkey Trot 5K when I was 20 and it was on the grass and I'm pretty sure it wasn't exactly 3.1 miles because I finished in 22 minutes. :)
|Running on the grass made me feel like a horse|