A friend (hey Lex!) recently asked for tips on starting running. Truthfully, my running days seem far off, but it is true (as I need to remind myself occasionally), that I went from barely being unable to run a mile in October 2010 to completing a marathon on May 1, 2011 - and running the whole darn thing without stopping. Hope these help you reach your running goal!
- To start, go slow. Like, even slower than you think possible. Most people start out too quickly, then get uncomfortable or in pain and are like, f it, running is impossible. At least that was my experience for the first 29 years of my life.
- Don't be afriad to alternate walking and jogging, but try to do it in a planned way, not just, "Ugh, I don't wanna jog anymore." Say you will give this walking/jogging thing 30 min, and then do little spurts of jogging - set a tree to jog towards, then walk till the next house, then jog again, maybe till the next bush or phone pole. Don't be afraid to set really small goals for jogging, just keep moving with some brisk walking in between.
- Eventually step it up to do tiny sprints, too. Walk a block, jog a half block, then try to "sprint" (or just more than super slow) for like 10 feet. Even little variations like this help your body get used to jogging and running and strengthen different muscles (and help prevent injury!)
- Don't feel like you have to run more than 2-3 times a week to start. Make sure to fit in some other activity if you can, like swimming once a week or yoga. I have a Jillian Michaels' "30 day Shred" video I like because it's only 20 min but I feel like its a good work out. Sometimes I bike, sometimes I swim, sometimes I combine them when I'm really antsy and can't focus (bike 10 min, swim 10 min, etc).
- Last but not least, sign up for a race - a walk or a 5K run or something, anything. Races were always when I hit the next level when I was training - for instance, I had only run 2 miles before I did a 5K, or 8 miles before a 9 mi run, had only run 20 miles before the marathon, etc - the adrenaline and community help push you....