Run like no one’s watching

So far, on the road back to becoming a runner, I’ve logged approximately 52 miles. That’s not a lot if you consider I started several months ago and only became committed to the process 4 weeks ago or so. (Honestly, I should have started a running diary to keep track, but I’m lazy.) But still, it’s 52 miles farther than I’d be if I just sat on the couch.

I’m up to about 4.5 miles a week now. I run three times per week for about 20 minutes, which adds up to about 1.5 to 1.7 miles each time.

Numbers. *Yawn* Sorry. I never said there would be math.

When I first started out, I went straight to attempting a mile run at 5 mph, which translates to a 12 minute mile. That, as I’ve said, almost sabotaged my efforts, because it was too fast a pace for my out-of-shape overweight body. (Honestly, you’d think I’d learn. It took 8 weeks of boot camp before I was in shape enough to run a mile in under 12 minutes and I was 19 then. This is 40 years later!)

So I slowed down, to about 4 mph. Then increased it by 0.5 mph each week, or I increased the distance/duration. I went from running 12 minutes to last night I managed 22 minutes.

Slow, but sure wins the race to getting fit.

I’m now glad I bought the treadmill, even though it sat unused for almost a year. It keeps my pace for me. It has numerous programs and I’ve been playing around with a few.

Last night I set it so it alternated between slow and fast, like many beginner books on running recommend.

Walk for a minute, run for a minute. For the first week walk for a minute, then jog at maybe a 4 mph pace for a minute and alternate until you’ve reach your time/distance goal. A mile? 15 minutes?

The next week increase the jog time a little. Walk a minute, jog faster, 4.5 mph for a minute.

Week after increase your time or distance.

Each week, increase something, but gradually. The last few weeks I’m up to running 1.6 miles alternating between a pace of 4 mph and 5.5.

So last night I set it to walk at 3.5 mph, then run at 6 mph for a distance of 1.6 miles. This was my first attempt at 6 mph. I think that pace would still be too much for me if I hadn’t alternated with the slower than usual pace.

Oh! And I found the original inserts to my Asics Cumulus 16. I had put them in a pair of winter boots (after cutting off a few millimeters from the toe to make them fit). They don’t hurt my arch the way the expensive aftermarket orthotics do. Unfortunately, if I don’t lace the shoes tight enough, my feet tend to slip inside them. Trade off one annoyance for another.

Anyone can run. You just need to pace yourself. And you don’t need a treadmill, just a good quality pair of running shoes (don’t be an idiot like me and buy a pair 2 sizes too big). Get measured and fitted! And if you find street running too much for your joints at first, membership to one of those 24/7 exercise places that are popping up in every strip mall is only $10 a month. Skip two grande coffees at Staryucks and its paid for.

Get running.



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