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How I Started Running

How I Started Running

My blog till now has been more focussed on my love for Food with interspersed posts on my runs.

I consider myself a beginner still at running but I would also like to share what I have done to be able to reach from running 3k’s’s to 10k’s in a span of 11 months. I must mention that most of my school and college days I have been a short distance athlete doing 100m and 100m x 4 relays. But a gap of 13 years of no exercise and not to forget having 2 kids has definitely changed a lot. 

running-04Image courtesy: http://perthurbanrunners.com

Towards the mid of last year (2015) I decided to start going to the gym in the hope of getting fit and improving my stamina levels. But somehow the drive was not there,though I did continue to hit the gym atleast twice a week. In Jan 2016, I decided to try out doing a small 3 k run and I was shocked that I struggled through most of it. This got me thinking on what I should do to regain some of the stamina and endurance I used to have for running and got around to reading a lot about it.

It is a step by step process and one needs to have a lot of patience to get to the level they strive to achieve. For me the first step was to be able to run for 1 minute non stop and it took me a while to get there. It is a simple progressive step and involves more of walking and less running. I started with run-walk intervals of 30 secs run with 1 min walk and continued it initially for 10 mins then increased it 20 mins.

The idea is to figure out how much more you can run and reduce the amount of walk time till you can run for 10 mins continuously. That in itself would feel like an achievement of sorts. From my experience, I initially started my training on the road but after a while I realized the option of road running is possible only early in the mornings due to safety reasons and my schedule just did not give me the time to continue my morning runs. So I bought a treadmill and I started continuing my runs on the treadmill. Running thrice a week would be enough to get you started on a 5 k in about 2-3 months. I must stress that do run only on alternate days and give your body enough time to recuperate and rest.

480s-1                                              Image courtesy: http://www.fleetly.com

One thing I realized is that I can now run almost 25-30 mins on the treadmill continuously but when I tried to do that during my actual run events I struggled after 10 mins. I do realize that weather conditions and elevation has a lot to do with road running when compared to treadmill running but it does lower your spirits quite a bit.

An important thing is to remember not to push yourself as this can lead to injuries and I say this from personal experience. I jumped from a 5k to doing a 10k in a span of 3 months with limited training and landed up with tendonitis.

Also expect to have some off days where nothing goes according to plan and you just need to enjoy what you are doing without worrying about the pace, distance etc.

Strength training is another must do to improve your muscle strength and keep you away from injuries. Heading to a gym twice a week can help you with this and specifically mentioning the reason would help your gym instructor to chalk out the best strength regime for you. Of course, there is enough information on the net on how you can do strength training at the comfort of your home.

Cheerful couple friends running in parkImage courtesy: https://expertbeacon.com

Getting company for your training or runs does also go a long way in encouraging each other to do better. If you are alone, then music would be your best companion.

For a little extra motivation, a fitness tracker can help monitor your daily activities and help you stay on track when it comes to all your fitness goals. Fitness trackers enable you to make changes to your health by giving you consistent data on your daily activity levels. The best devices are both comfortable and easy to use all day, every day.

I would like to mention that running may look like a simple enough sport / hobby to an outsider but from experience it is probably one of the most difficult sports as you need to be strict about your training if you want to keep improving.

110401-N-HC601-027Image courtesy: https://s3.amazonaws.com

Finally motivation is important so go on and register yourself for your first run and push yourself to train with the run in mind.

The feeling of crossing the finish line on your first run is unforgettable and will ensure you to keep going!

 

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