Saturday, June 8, 2013

RUNNING 101: A Basic Outline

A few weeks ago a friend asked, “How did you learn to run?  I mean, I know the obvious, you put on sneakers and run.  But how did you go from not running to loving it?”  

Within the next couple of days, a few other people asked pretty much the same question, so I thought it was worth trying to organize my thoughts, such as they are, and attempt to spell it out here. 

So that this is not one ridiculously long post, I’ve made this page kind of an outline, with links to the details.  If you feel like you’re already ready and just want to go run, by all means, GO!!  It’s not rocket science, and you can go get in your first run and figure out the details later! 

If you’re like me, it sometimes takes a little more preparation…  I would have never considered myself a runner nor “athletic” in any sense of the word.  If that’s where you are, start here and read as much of it as you need to feel like you’re ready.  Or if you’re somewhere in between… maybe you were very active at one point but haven’t run a step in years?  Whatever the case, I’ll try and help you prepare well and start slow so that you’re in it for the long run! 

Get Ready: 

My hope is that you can use this page as a checklist, and refer to the explanations as you need them. 

Step One:  HYDRATE!!  You can start on this one right this minute, even if you’re injured, busy, on vacation or whatever else might mean you can’t start running today. 

Step Two:  STRETCH!!  If you need to get started with zero cash outlay, I completely understand, and it’s certainly possible!  But start saving, and spend your first $25 on a foam roller!  And then learn how to use it. It will make all the difference in the world! 

Step Three:  EQUIP!!  Again, if you need to get started without spending any money, do that!  But if you can invest in some gear to make it running more enjoyable and to increase your chance at success, here’s where to start.

Get Set!

OK, so you’re drinking your water, you’ve started figuring out stretching, you’ve got all the gear, now what?   You’ll want to think about logistics. 

Step Four:  PLAN!!  Where and when are you going to run?  The answer to this can be as simple as going right out your front door. 

Step Five:  COMMIT!  Sign up for a race!  There is no better motivator to keep you on track and help you stay accountable to your training plan.  Finding a race is pretty simple—just Google 5K races [insert name of your city here].  Yes, races cost money, but you usually get a pretty cool shirt and some nice freebies!  You can shop around—sometimes an “untimed” race will be less expensive.  If you absolutely can’t spent the money on a race registration, pick a date and get at least one other person to plan to run a 5K that day with you!  Even better, get a group together! Choose a new place to run—a running trail or a new neighborhood.  Go drive the route and clock the mileage ahead of time, and be sure to plan a celebration afterward!  I promise this will go a long way toward keeping you on track and focused on your goals!

And… finally…  GO!!! 

You’ve done all the prep work, now it’s time to get out there!  Here’s how to make it fun!!  

Please let me know if I can answer any other questions-- you can help me to improve this information for others!  And keep me posted on your progress so I can cheer you on!!! 


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