Sunday, March 9, 2014

From Couch to running a Mile, then a 5K!!! :0

     With Spring quickly approaching, there is no better time to get outside and enjoy all the benefits of the great out doors !!!  When the weather is nice, it literally calls my name and I bet it does yours as well !!!  I started running about age 22 and ran solidly 6 days a week til age 40.  We were on a 10 day trip in Italy, and every morning I would get up and run 5 miles before we went touring for the day.  The problem started on the Cobblestone streets I was pounding each morning thru the Villages and then spending the next 12 hours on my legs eating Gelato!  By the time our plane landed back in America I could barely hobble down the runway, my knees were "SHOT" !!!  It didn't help I had my 40th birthday that year and had heard all the horror stories of how everything spirals rapidly downward after this milestone!!!  All the Glucosamine Chondrotin in the universe was not able to allow a stroll down the stairs with out a whence spreading across my mug!  Sadly, I had to leave running in my dust for a few years mourning the loss of what I thought was forever!!!  .... UNTIL, I had a friend and personal trainer, Kim Bessac, encourage me to try again with a plan she knew would work!  I hesitantly took her advice and knew I had nothing to loose, .. well, maybe my pride, ... but that was a risk I was willing to take!  So here's how I got my first mile back at age 45~ ( first of all it must be understood that you need to seek a doctors approval before starting any exercise program and invest in a decent pair of running shoes)~ start out with a good 5-10 walking warm up ( I actually walk a mile for a warm up to this day out of paranoia), from this point you simply run a minute and walk a minute til you have covered a mile. And when I say run, I'm not encouraging a full dead heat sprint, a mild jog will suffice followed by a very brisk paced walk. Now, I only want you running THREE times a week !!!  This is where I differ a little than most runners dolling out advice.  After having knee stopping injuries, I think 3 times a week of running is plenty! Even when I'm training for my Half Marathons, I only run 3 times a week.  While I would love to run everyday, I know its not the best for my body and cross training on the other days is the only way to go and stay healthy and injury free. I'm also a strong proponent of stretching and weight lifting to keep injury at bay. Cross training could be an elliptical training session, bike, swimming, tennis,  stair mill, bleachers, or just walking ( preferably at an incline).  Your cross training days should be anywhere from 20-45 minutes depending on where you are in your fitness level.  After week one, I suggest you up your running to a minute and a half and cut your walk back to 30 seconds if you can.  If that's too much, then try to do that at least once or twice, but try to work up to that by your third session of the week. Week three, run two minutes, walk 30 seconds til you complete your mile. Week Four, run three minutes walk a minute. Week Five, run four minutes, walk thirty seconds.  Week Six, run five minutes, walk a minute.  Week Seven, run six minutes, walk thirty seconds.  Week Eight, run a light jog for 10 minutes, have your headphones on to the latest Hip Hop Station and get lost in the beat while you get your groove on !!!  MUSIC HELPS TREMENDOUSLY   At this point you should be pretty close to your mile if you haven't gotten there yet.  If you aren't there, then run 11 minutes the next week, and 12 the following week and you should be to your mile by then !!!  This is not the fastest way to train for a mile, but slow and steady wins the race in my book!  This mild training program will get you where you need to be injury free. After you feel the pride of running a mile, you will have the fever to go on to bigger and better things !!!  Make running a 5K your next goal, and join the crowd at the next fund raiser and see how much joy running can bring to your life!!!  If you are ready to start training for a 5K, then add a minute or two each week to you distance.  Never work on speed and distance in the same session, you will likely pull something you don't want pulled, ... and I don't mean your ponytail !!!  :0  Running is a great way to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and gain muscular endurance.  Though a 5K may seem impossible now, once you begin running, your body will quickly adapt and progress.  Virtually no one starts running as a distance runner, it takes years of dedication and discipline.  But, with some fortitude and a good foundation, you can safely lose weight and gain more confidence as a distance runner.  Everyone has to start at the beginning, and simply learning to run one mile will give you the fundamentals you will need to move on to greater distances. Don't worry about speed, that will come later, just enjoy the ride of movement and feeling your body swaying with the wind !!!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!!! And, I hope to see you at the next running event !!! Nothing is more fun than being in a group of runners, you can travel the country doing races and feeling the empowerment that comes from the crowds!  Its a rush that can't be explained, you have to experience it for yourself and I hope you do just that !!!  In good health, paige  :)


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