Running 101: Beginner’s Guide to the 1st Month


 

Running Is About The Journey

Running Is About The Journey

I hated running the first 30 days. At first, I was excited to go to the gym to see how far I could run on the treadmill. But each time I experienced the same, within moments of starting I felt the 10 pound weight on my chest, my lungs burning, and the fear of imminent cardiac arrest. Gasping for air just trying to get through those first few miles was certainly not pleasurable. They did not bring the endorphin rush or runners’ high, as it is sometimes called, that everyone else seemed to be experiencing. No, instead I felt like the clock had slowed down for me personally to draw out the excruciating pain while it taunted me relentlessly. Tick, tick, tick… How much longer?  Tick….. Tick….. Tick….. 

Some people are born runners. They’re blessed with a ridiculous ability for endurance and amazingly efficient cardio-pulmonary systems. I am not one of those people. Many runners are not either. But we all run. And we are able to do it because the human body is an amazing piece of bio-mechanical engineering that adapts and learns for as long as we will train it.

I’ve been talking to a friend recently about how he is fairing with this sport called running. He just started a month ago. It’s not been easy. Right now, he’s experiencing the same things that I did when I started. I was lucky to have a few good influences who supported me. The rest came from an internal need to prove myself wrong. Prove that I could be a runner. And now as I sit here today having several 5k’s and 1 half marathon under my belt, I did it. I became a runner because I trained my body to run. But just as importantly I trained my mind. 

I started training with no knowledge of what to do or how to do it, just get on a treadmill and run. I learned a lot that first 30 days. So I will share with you the checklist of things to do to start a running program, so you don’t have to learn them the hard way like I did.  Legalese Type Disclaimer: Always seek the approval of a trained medical professional before starting an exercise program. 

  1. Go to Endurance Sports and Rec or similar specialized athletic store to get a gait analysis and buy running shoes. Running shoes are typically 1/2 to 1 full size larger than your regular tennis shoes. This is true even if you have shoes for cross-training or walking. The impact on your feet, knees, hips and back is completely different from these sports to running. Trust me, the way you run and the shoes you run in will make or break your run. This can save your toes and your lower body. It’s that important!
  2. Women: If you are well endowed please take the time to get fit for a sports bra at a store that fits for runners. This does not mean go into Target and grab the Large off the shelf or Dick’s and just grab the 36D. Because your real bra size is not your running sports bra size. They fit differently and you get sized for them differently. Getting the right sports bra for running, is a lot like the fairly tale: You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince. In other words, try a lot of them on to find the one for your body.
  3. Get a watch with a timer. I would recommend getting a heart rate monitor for ease of use, but they can be pricey and are not a requirement. But I stand firm in the belief that you have to get a timer to help understand pace and intervals of your runs. 
  4. Training methodology is up for grabs. I use http://jeffgalloway.com for the ease of his program and the best results I had with my knees. Starting a running program at 39 with a sedentary decade preceding it, coupled with 2 MCL injuries on the right knee was not the best athletic base. But it can be overcome. Galloway’s methods are the most injury free. 

These are the basics for starting and being successful in your first 30 days of running when it comes to the physical side of the run. But there is a mental element that is just as important in my opinion. That will be in part 2. Posting it tomorrow!

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2 thoughts on “Running 101: Beginner’s Guide to the 1st Month

  1. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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