May of 2010….When It All Began!
Prior to this date I never even considered running. Growing up I played football, basketball, and baseball from about 4th grade until my high school senior year. I despised the running portions of training. During college I played intramural sports. After college I became a police officer, and was on the force for five years. Prior to going to the police academy I had to train for a qualifying run of 1.5 miles, which I dreaded! I trained for a few months before the academy, and once there, did just enough to qualify. This all being said, I have no past that condoned running in any way. Also, during all this and family history, I have always had bad knees, which was another deterrent for running.
As most of you know I am now in the IT field, and love my gadgets. Well back in May 2010 I got my first smartphone, the original Motorola Droid. Well I was sitting on the couch tinkering with my phone and found the RunKeeper app in the Android Market. (SIDENOTE: I am now an iPhone User, and dislike the Droid OS) I downloaded this app, and decided to go outside and try the GPS functionality on the phone. To do this, I decided run a mile. Well that is all it took for me, I have been running ever since.
My wife and I were in Chicago in October 2009, for one of her work conferences (me for a Chicago Cubs game!), well it was Chicago Marathon weekend! Everywhere went were runners. My comment to my wife several times was: (1) look at these idiots, (2) they are crazy, (3) they paid to run! My wife now reminds me often: (1) you are now one of these idiots, (2) you are crazy, (3) we now have a monthly budget item for race registrations!
If I can start running with the above background, anyone can do it. You just got to get started, set low expectations at first and build upon them. This is what I did and to date I have ran over 1800 miles, 2 marathons (one Goofy = half marathon one day, full marathon the next day) and 5 half marathons. My new current goal, which can be viewed on my blog is to complete a half marathon in all 50 states before I turn 50, which is 10+ years away. Also, I do not have any knee issues whatsoever (thanks to learning proper running form in the beginning)!
Here are the top 5 questions people always ask me, when I start talking to them about running.
Question 1: How long should I run?
Your first week you should set a goal to run for 15 minutes, and gradually build up
Question 2: Do I have to run the whole time?
No. I recommend you do the Jeff Galloway Run, Walk, Run technique. This will help you run a little, walk a little to recharge, the run again. Repeat.
Here is a Run Disney article with more Run Walk Run information by Jeff Galloway
RunDisney Jeff Galloway video on Run Walk Run method
Question 3: How often should I run?
I would recommend no more than 3 days a week, and have a rest day in between each to recover. If you run daily, you are going to sore, and possibly get depressed and lose your motivation to keep going.
Question 4: What if I don’t feel motivated to run?
Sign up for a 5k a few months out, this will give you a goal and motivation to complete your training. 5k events are fun, and are usually for a good cause. There is no pressure, and it is even more fun with friends.
Speaking of friends, encourage a friend to join you for the training and sign up for the same 5k, so you can share the memories!
Question 5: How fast should I run?
Referring to Question 4, you should be able to carry on a conversation with your friend and should not be out of breath.
So now that you know the above, if you like me, I need a plan documented so I can mark it off. Here is a sample 10-week plan I followed when I began that help me build up my endurance and distances.
|Week||Walk Minutes||Run Minutes||Repetitions||Total Minutes|
I hope this will help you and your interest in running.
I know many of my fellow runners will read this, as we support each other. Please write your start up stories in the comments also!