If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know I started running this past summer. Now I can knock out 2 miles easily and run up hills like a boss. I probably don’t look awesome, but I feel great afterwards. On top of that, I ran my farthest distance of 6.5 miles. Didn’t think I could do that back in July. Any runner will tell you, we all started somewhere. I started with Runner’s World 8 Week Beginner’s Program. The program starts you out with running and walking intervals. After having my first child, I had to start my running relationship over.
You’d be surprised how frustrating post baby running can be. You remember how far and fast you used to go. A part of you expects to be able to get back to that place right away. Rather than set myself up for failure, I decided to try out a structured plan. I found the plan in a March 2014 issue of Runner’s World. If you stick to the plan, you’ll be able to run for 30 min non stop. I started my first week and a half on the elliptical. Rather than stay on the machine all summer, I took my training outside. At first it felt like I took 3 steps back. Instead of getting discouraged, I continued to run outside. It felt great to go farther and longer on each run.
I’ll admit Week 5 and 6 get challenging. The runs are much longer and the walking breaks are reduced to 1 to 3 short breaks. This is where your commitment is going to make or break you. I am not trying to deter you, I’m just being honest. To keep myself going into Week 6 and on, I’d remind myself that the first run was longer than my next one. If I ran for 16 min and took a minute break, I’d only have to run for 13 min. To get through this plan, you need to have a glass half full mindset. When your feeling down, look back at that first week. That’ll make you smile and realize you’ve grown. I know fitness is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions. This is why I want to set you up for success. I highly recommend this plan. Since then, I’ve continued to challenge myself with different running plans. Whether its distance or speed, I use that structure to keep me committed to my goals.
Before you come up with excuses. Running is the least expensive form of exercise and you can do it anywhere. I’ve changed my routes several times this year and didn’t have to pay a gym membership. I have run my shoes to the ground, but you can’t avoid wear and tear. If you plan to start this plan today, you need to go in with an open mind. Winter outdoor running is challenging. Do not focus on how far your going. Focus on how long your running. Most of the time, your winter running pace is affected by cold weather. For example, I know freezing temperatures add up to 1 min and 30 secs to my mile time. Everyone’s body and pace are affected by winter weather. So, celebrate getting outside. It’s half the battle. There is no shame in doing this plan on an elliptical or treadmill. Your still logging the miles, and it’ll help you track your walking breaks easier. Just remember, outdoor spring running is going to feel different. I won’t leave you a plan without gear advice.
Women’s Running published an awesome clothing guide by degree. By the way, you get 30 min easy walking days. Honestly, after Week 4, you’ll be craving those run days. You’ll know your capable of covering more ground on your running pace. Good luck! Feel free to tweet or message me for motivation, questions, or just letting me know how you’re doing.
If your still feeling unsure about this lifestyle, Sports Fitness Adviser can tell you 35 Reasons Why You Should. So, what are you waiting for?