I receive many comments about running. People who hate running or say they are not runners. People who would like to be labeled runners, but have no idea where to start. The most common question I hear people ask is "How do I become a runner?"
For many years, my self-imposed title was mediocre runner turned pretty good cyclist turned crappy triathlete. Now a few more wrinkles and a bit more experience-induced wisdom later, I can proudly call myself an athlete-a cyclist, a runner, a triathlete-okay, okay definitely not a swimmer yet; but, you get my drift. I now think of myself as a runner. So, how can you do the same?
1. Make a Commitment
Of course before starting any exercise program, consult your Doctor first. When you get the all-clear, make a commitment to yourself to incorporate running into your schedule just as you would mark down any other appointment or obligation. If you ask Google, it will take between 21-28 days to form a habit. And once you see the immediate benefits of beginning a running program like increased energy and weight loss, you will be more likely to keep your run on.
2. Gear Up with Goals
New runners should start a beginner's level program to prevent injury. You should also be very careful about increasing running frequency and mileage, limiting distance and mileage increases to no more than ten percent each week. And be realistic. Many people give up because they set unrealistic goals for themselves. Keep in mind what running guru George Sheehan preached: "We are all an experiment of one."
3. Getting Started
Many people start alternating between running and walking measuring their progress by time and distance. Begin walking at a brisker than normal pace for 15 to 20 minutes three times per week before you start alternating with a slow jog. When you brisk walk becomes easy, you may walk for two minutes and then jog slowly for one minute repeating this pattern for 15 to 20 minutes. Once your one minute jog becomes easy, you can then start to increase the walk-to-run ratio.
4. Resources on the Run
There are many free beginner run programs on the internet search engines, so be sure to find a plan that feels right for you. Also, research the local run groups in your area, like BOCA Hawaii to join a support group of like-minded people of all ages and abilities.
Once you get the running bug, consider entering a local run race like the Try Fitness Women's 5k and Keiki 1 Mile Run coming up in the first week of February or the Hawaii Pacific Health Women's 10k in early March.