Thursday, September 10, 2015

Three Rules For Beginning Runners

We've all done it at some point. You tie on your running shoes for the first time of the season or maybe the first time ever.  You have carefully researched and selected the perfect training plan. You hit the road and you feel invincible. Bye, bye training plan. Who needs a training plan?

You do.

You are new to this runner racket. So is your body. It is not used to the intensity of a long distance run. Bad things happy when we thrown the training plan out the window. Injury. Shin splints. Nastiness. It may feel like a set back to stick to a steady increase plan when it feels like you could do so. much. more. but trust me on this one...injury will be a much greater setback and may keep you from ever getting back on the road.

Rule No. 1 For Beginning Runners- Select a training plan and stick to it! Be kind to your body and give it the time it needs to adjust. I know many runners like run/walk plans but it has been my experience that once you start taking walking breaks it is very challenging to stop. I find it much more effective to steadily increase distance. Below is the training plan I used this spring and found very helpful.

Rule No. 2 For Beginning Runners - Build your distance goal before even THINKING about speed. I strongly recommend setting a distance goal (5k/3.1 miles is really the ideal distance for health benefits without putting too much wear and tear on your body. More on goals later.)  Once you have the endurance to run 3 miles (or whatever your distance goal) and KNOW you CAN you will be surprised at how fast the speed comes. (No pun intended!) I love sprinting and it's very tempting to just run as fast as feels good. But I know that if I expend my energy on the sprint I will never make it to the end. It is much wiser to keep it slow and steady until you have the endurance.

Rule No. 3 For Beginning Runners - Never compare yourself to other runners. I cannot think of anything more fatal to that running spirit than comparison. I read this running magazine where the featured runners do 50-60 miles A WEEK. My brothers come back from a 5k complaining because they were so slow (26 MINUTES!). Don't allow the success of others to steal your thunder. Think of what you can do, reflect on how far you've come and be proud of yourself for getting out there and doing it!

What training plan works best for you? Any rules you would add?

1 comment:

  1. AMEN. Thanks for this. I need to get back on the road now. :)