How to start running

 In 2007, I was a junior in high school. As a part of my ‘girls only’ gym class, we had to run 2 laps around a track. On the first lap around, I thought I was dying. All the girls whipped pasted me smiling, talking, & laughing. I was the 3rd to last finisher.

Fast forward 8 years, and I crossed the line of the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:20:44 (7:40 per mile). What happened? How did I become a runner?

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1- Start Small

If you can’t run more than 1-5 min:

Bike/elliptical/swim/stair master/walk: 2x a week for 20-30 min at a low intensity
walk/run intervals: 2x a week for 15-25 min

If you can’t run more than 6-12 min:

Bike/elliptical/swim/stair master/walk: 2x a week for 25-30 min at a low intensity
walk/run intervals: 2x a week for 20-30min

If you can’t run more than 1-2 miles:

Bike/elliptical/swim/stair master/walk: 2x a week for 25-30 min at a low intensity
walk/run intervals: 3x a week for 20-30min

If you can’t run more than 2-3 miles:

Bike/elliptical/swim/stair master/walk: 2x a week for 30-45 min at a low intensity
walk/run intervals: 3x a week for 20-40min

2- Learn what paces to run

Once you are able to run 2ish miles at a time, learning correct paces to run at is critical! I like to input my race results into this calculator: Find your paces here!

For beginner runners, I find that doing a “1 mile time trial” is more effective for paces than a 5k time. So, run 1 mile as fast as you can then you can use this calculator:

Let’s say you run a 9:55 mile:

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You might be like “what the heck does all this mean?”. You can click on the rectangle next to the name to find out “when”/”how” to run these paces 🙂

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3- Don’t rush into races

My rules of thumb for races.

Prior to running 5k/10k:

5k- Can you comfortably run/walk 2 miles?

10k- Have you ran 4-5 miles? Are you able to run 3 miles without a struggle?

Prior to training for marathon/half marathon:

Half Marathon- Have you run a 10k? Have you been running at least 15 miles a week regularly for 3-6 months?

Marathon- Have you ran over 10 miles multiple times? Have you been running over 25-30 miles a week for at least 6 months?

 

4- Don’t Play the Compare Game

Do NOT compare your progress to other people. 99.9% of the time, you are not getting the full story. So your friend ran a marathon after 6 months of running? Maybe it came easy to her because she was a competitive soccer & hockey player 3 years ago.

Bottom line, the biggest motivation KILLER can be comparing yourself to others. 

Focus on yourself. Focus on the effort you are putting in. Focus on where YOU want to be.

Focus on YOUR goals. 

5- Have fun

Running is a lifetime sport.  Don’t be too hard on yourself or take yourself too seriously during the process. We all have bad runs. We all have bad races. 

Contact me directly if you are interested in training plans or have any questions on your running journey:

Irun4PRs@gmail.com

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