Well folks, this is the idea that started this entire monthly challenge business. You see, I saw a news article about Heidi Klum running every day for 30 days and blogging about and I thought, “I think that would be a great way to stay motivated.” Now, before you completely disregard this challenge because you’re not into running, I would encourage you to give it a chance. At the end of 30 days, if you’re not filled with a sense of accomplishment then by all means, drop it like a bad habit. I have a feeling, however, that once you give this a shot, you might just see what all of the fuss is about.
First and foremost, let’s get something straight. Almost everyone can run. Seriously, we are biologically engineered for it! How the heck do you think we used to get from point A to point B before the domestication of horses and vehicles? If you don’t believe me, just watch Conan the Barbarian (the original, if you please) and you’ll see that traveling = running…and with a sword on your back no less! Ah, those were the days.
Now, if you think that you’re to ________ to run (fill in the blank here – too heavy, too old, too lazy, too busy), kindly turn on an episode of The Biggest Loser for evidence. If a 400 lb. person who has been sedentary for the last 20 years can run, that means that YOU can too! Trust me on this one. It may not be fun at first, it may hurt like the dickens (whatever that means), and you may feel completely ridiculous…but you CAN do it. YOU can do it. You can DO it. You can do IT. Have I gotten my point across? Great!
Okay, now that we’ve established that you can and will give this a try, here is a bunch of information that will be helpful to you:
1. I wrote up an entire post about getting the proper running gear. The right gear will spare you from discomfort and can help reduce injury. Absolutely the most important thing for running is what you put on your feet (for obvious reasons). If you have a specialty running store near you, go there and get fitted. It will be worth every penny to be in good shoes that fit properly (and socks, too!).
2. If you a brand new runner (or it’s been a while since you’ve laced up your running shoes), there is a ton of great information here on the Runner’s World website.
3. If the word RUN makes you want to run for the hills, there’s a lot to be said for walking/running plans. Here’s more info on that. Have you heard of the Couch to 5K program? Here’s info on that as well.
4. If you’re into training plans, a bunch (all the way from running your first 5K to running a marathon) can be found here on the Runner’s World website.
6. If you aren’t into training plans but just want a common sense way to get started, here’s how I originally found my “running legs.”
Plan to stay out there for 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Start off running very slowly and walk when you need to walk (even if this is after 20 steps!). Once you’ve caught your breath, start running again. Stick with this schedule until you can run the entire 30 minutes. Even if this takes you 3 months to do, THAT’S OK!! The key is consistency. Just keep getting out there.
Once you’ve reached your goal, bump up your time to 40 minutes and start the same process over again. When you’ve conquered that, bump up to 50 minutes, etc…
Once you can run for one hour straight (and this could take 6 months or so to reach), you can start counting your miles and getting a more specific training plan in place.
This is the only way I know to successfully become a runner. This process is called building your base. It took me 4 months to get up to the 45 minute mark of running continuously and for me, the key is to keep it nice and slow.
Okay, so what’s the challenge? Well, this is going to be slightly different for everyone depending on where you are as a runner. If you’re an established runner, try to head out there for 30 days straight, switching it up from one-miler rest days with a super easy pace to more difficult distances and paces in order to avoid overuse injuries. If you want to walk on some days, that’s totally fine. Just get out there every day and do something. If you are a brand new runner, you’ll be doing a lot of walking in the first couple of weeks. Again, the key is to build your length of time that you run each week since what you’re looking for is progress. So, whether you run or walk – get out there and pound the pavement (or the treadmill) every day.
What am I going to do? Well, I’m thinking that my first week is going to look like this:
Saturday: 1 mile
Sunday: 2 mile
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 1 mile
Thursday: 2 miles
Friday: 3 miles
Depending on how I feel (since I haven’t been running quite as much as I would like since the baby was born), I’ll either stick to a similar pattern for the following week or kick it up. My ultimate goal, however, is to get to my first post-baby 10-miler by the end of the month.
So, are you guys and gals with me?!? Please say yes. You know I love you all for company.
***Let me put in the usual disclaimer here that you should probably check with your doctor if it’s been a while and please, take it easy if you start to feel light-headed or experience shortness of breath.