Running - LET'S GET STARTED!
Written by: Coach Delilah Topic
Now that we have the right shoes and gear, we can get started!
1. ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Starting an exercise program can be difficult and daunting! Sometimes having a buddy that can help hold you accountable for those difficult first few weeks can be helpful. There is nothing like a gentle nudge or reminder from a friend to prevent you from snoozing that alarm one extra time! Remember... you will never regret a run you went on, but you WILL regret the runs that you skip! (Note: the aforementioned does NOT hold true if you are injured).
I must confess, I am not the best in the ‘safety’ department.
I often run in the dark, and in the company of a random bird or rodent that might be awake at that time. Noone knows where or when I go running. So….do NOT be like me! I am not a proponent of over-paranoia (clearly!) but I do think it is important to follow some key safety principles. (And yes, I promise to follow them from now on, too!):
- If you run in the wee morning hours (or late evening hours), try to find a well-lit path, preferrably near a residential area
- Tell someone your run schedule so they know what days/times that you run
- ROAD ID can be a great way to identify yourself if you are in the unfortunate situation where you cannot speak up for yourself (Hard to think about, but it does happen, and ROAD ID can save lives!)
- If you are worried about the safety of the area that you live in, run with a whistle or with a phone
3. RUN PROGRAM – "TO WALK... OR NOT TO WALK"
In my opinion, sometimes walking gets a 'bad rap'. In reality, starting with a run/walk program can actually enable fitness gains while also reducing likelihood of injury. In addition, a walk/run program can also increase the chances of “sticking with the program," as it enables you to ease into a program at a more manageable pace, so to speak. I know many people that have run very decent race times using a walk/run approach, so I don’t “poo-poo” it!
Certain times when a walk/run program might be indicated or helpful are:
- Coming back from injury
- New to cardiovascular activity in general
- Longer distance race goal (I am a big proponent of starting out with shorter distances, but if you are set on doing a longer distance race as your first, I strongly recommend adopting a walk/run approach. Most common interval is: run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute)
Good luck! You got this!