Thursday, April 12, 2007

Running Primer

So Sillychick posted something that made me giggle. Really. She's envious of me. Of me? Why, you ask? My running.

I'm not a runner.

At most, a jogger. Maybe.

What I would like to do is offer some advice on getting started. I'm really good at starting things, not so good at finishing. Usually.

Wear good shoes. Get fitted. This will save a lot of pain and heartache later.

Start slow. Not just the distance, but the speed. Sure, I'd love to run an 8 minute mile. I'm just not there yet. Maybe start by jogging a 12:30 or 13:00 mile - or less. It's not a race, at least not yet. If starting is running for 30 seconds then walking for a minute, then running for 30 seconds - that's ok. Try and get out at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Jog, walk, jog, walk, jog. In time, the jogging will last longer and longer, until you're not walking at all. If you do have to walk - that's ok. Really.

The Bra. I wear two. It's not that I haven't found one I like, I'm just not willing to pay $59. Yet. I'm getting close though. Also, I don't wash them in the machine, I hand wash them in the sink and let them air dry - better on the elastic. Usually, as I get in the shower, I fill the sink up with tepid water and a little woolite and throw the bras in. Let them marinate while I shower, then rinse them off when I'm done and hang to dry. If you're looking for a wide variety, try - they have a great return policy as well.

Set a goal. I have a hard time running just to run. I need a goal. If there isn't a goal, I'll just hike it on the elliptical for 45 minutes. If there's a goal. I'll run. Perhaps a goal would be to run for 30 minutes. Another great start would be a 5k (3.1 miles). There are a lot of programs out there. Most programs are 8 weeks long and start with a mile or so. has the "Couch to 5k" program. I haven't done it, but have heard a lot of good things about it. There's also a 12 week program that uses both minutes and miles. If you want a little more hard core, Hal Higdon has a 5k training program as well. There are a lot of sites that list races. A fairly comprehensive one can be found at listed by state.

Warm up and cool down. I like to warm up by briskly walking for a few minutes before starting out. Sometimes, I'll stop and gently stretch, and by then I'm usually ready to get going. When I finish, I walk until my heart rate gets back to normal. Then I spend 10 minutes or so stretching. I've found the cool down and the stretching are a vital part of my workout - I am so much less sore the next day.

Finally. I'm in my 9th week of marathon training, and I'm halfway there. I'm currently following Hal Higdon's Novice I training program, and creating some flexibility.

This week is supposed to be 3, 7, 4, 10.

Instead of 3 on Tuesday, I ran 4.

Yesterday, I thought I was supposed to run 6, not 7.

Today I'll run 4, and still have the same number of miles.

My point is that it's taken me nine weeks to get to this point.

The first week of 3, 3, 3, 6 - two of the 3's took me 45 minutes, and I did one in 40 minutes. The 6 miles took me an hour an a half. Those average out to just under a 15 minute mile.

Slow, slow, slow. But I did it.

Yesterday, I did 6 miles in 70 minutes - average of 11:40 minute mile.

Slowly but surely, I'll get there.

But you know what Sillychick, I'm really envious of Tree's running.


Leeanthro said...

The two bra suggestion is a good one. I wear (well, when I actually work out) two Champion bras. You know, the uniboob kind. One just doesn't have enough support.

I cringe when I see young women running and their boobs are bouncing. I don't think they realize that they are slowing tearing their tissue and their boobs are going to sag.

I also have a book (maybe: Running for Women?) that has a plan that gets you going from only walking to running 30 minutes straight in a month. Its a good one.

The best advice is to start slow and gradually build up. Going full force to begin with will only lead to injury.

I'm proud of you for training for a marathon. I'm sure its taking a lot of dedication and sacrifice. Good job, keep it up!

Tree said...

I am so proud of you, G. And embarrassed / proud that you cite me. I am humbled.

You are doing incredibly well.

Tree said...

And you are definitely a runner.

I enjoy reading John Bingman's (aka, the Penguin) No Need for Speed in Runner's World.

Mitzi Green said...

i'm jealous of both of you. i've never been a runner. i couldn't run when i was a kid, and i definitely can't as an adult (bad knees, shin splints, inner ear problems, and i'm lazy.) but i've always watched these people (my husband included) just run and run and run and i think, damn, i wish i could do that. i think even if it didn't hurt, i still couldn't, because i have "cardio ADD." after about 30 seconds on a treadmill or a path, i'm bored. and sadly, running is the easiest way to drop pounds. dammit. you guys go run, me and liz will take our vitamins and poop.

Builder Mama said...

Well, you and I have talked about this before. I'm not a runner - more like a slow and steady jogger. And honestly, I don't enjoy it but I do it for the cardio.

As I get older, though, my knees and hips get sore more easily. Getting old sucks.

Oh, The Joys said...

I've never been a good runner because my boobs just flip up and smack me in the face - regardless of boob harness.

Heather said...

You rock! I've tried to run but end up miserable, even with the run, walk, run thing. Kudos to you for sticking it out, its good to hear other people starting out slow because you just don't see them at the gym :) Good luck on yuor 10 miles, hope you can do it outside.

melissa said...

You're inspiring me to get back on my treadmill. Thanks!