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For those first time runners, theres no need to be intimidated. Guest Author Wendy Hoag “walks” us through some basic steps that helped her make the leap from non-runner to new runner.
For the Average Runner, It Doesn’t Always Come Naturally
Some people really do decide they will run one day, head out the door and never look back. Most of us however, do not find running to be such an easy undertaking.
Count me in as the camp for whom running is not a natural, flowing process. I have been always been a try-it-all kind of gal who is active and into the outdoors, hiking and skiing; but, for me, running is a whole other ball of wax.
In 7th grade it was something we had to do during PE…I ran with my friend Mindy trying the whole time to keep up with her so I would be done sooner. By the end of the term, we were running so fast we finished our mile before most of the boys. The track team coach approached me about running the mile for the track team. My answer “I hate running.”
In my 20s a Team in Training postcard came to my apartment and I signed up to walk a marathon, thinking running one was out of the question.
Having children has made me realize that just because something doesn’t come easy doesn’t mean you can’t do it. The switch flipped not too longer after that.
New Runner’s First 5K
My husband and I participated in a 5K together when our two kids were still toddlers. We pushed the stroller which seemed to get heavier every minute. We ran a bit, then stopped to walk and catch our breath too many times to count. I was soooo sore the next day I decided I had better practice if we were going to do another.
I was still a new runner, but I was slowly running more, walking less and feeling more confident I completed another 5K as a runner…without stopping! I was hooked, my brain switched from running being something that I HAD to do to something that I GET to do. Just the fact that I CAN run propels me to continue running. One of the fabulous things about running is that you’re truly only competing with yourself, there’s no membership either, you run you are a runner. Run a 5K a year, 10Ks every other month, run every morning before school, there are no rules or required schedules.
In 2008, I began leading a local Run/Walk team for a national organization called Moms in Motion. They provide the training plan, marketing plan and framework allowing me to motivate moms in my own community.
Now, when someone says to me “I can’t run,” my answer is twofold.
- Do you want to run?
- If so, have you practiced?
Often realizing that it’s something you have to practice flips the switch and they are ready to start a training program.
Below is my bare bone, anyone can do it, start running today plan:
- Schedule 3 days per week for your workout in PEN
- Warm up with a brisk walk, then start to run at the pace you can maintain your breathing.
- When you need to stop and catch your breath, walk until you feel ready to run again.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat….over time you will be running more than walking and then running 100% of the time.
When you join a local team like Moms in Motion, you’ll have a group of other people to support your efforts and cheer you on. Regardless of how you start, starting is the hardest part.
One day I will not be able to run, today is not that day.
Congrats. I tell people if they want to start running the best way is to walk first. Then work in short periods of running until comfortable. Your experience is a perfect example of how to do it. Too many start trying to do 1 or 2 miles which will be tough or impossible.