I always “hated” running. Whenever I think of it, I think of my 7th grade P.E. teach, Mr. Parker, who seemed to favor the athletes in class, versus the mediocre students (so I thought) like myself. We were required to run a mile weekly and I remember the entire class dreading “The Mile” when the time approached. I can still hear Mr. Parker’s British accent saying, “Stop saying we are running “the” mile today. We are running “a” mile”.
I wasn’t too shabby. At an average pace of 8-minutes, I was the 3rd fastest girl in my class. I always hated that last push as I neared the end of the mile. One time, I remember sitting in the grass from exhaustion then suddenly throwing up the sweet tart candy I ate that day for lunch. It wasn’t a great memory.
Hence, I’ve never liked running.
However, when I need to lose those last ten pounds….when I need to prepare for an event or photo shoot…I know, that’s when I need to step on the treadmill.
I say treadmill because I also ‘hate’ running outside. Running outside in an uncontrolled environment is not fun for me. I would rather look at my book shelf and boringly engage in my thoughts while running monotonously on my treadmill. After having children, I also have difficulty leaving the house – so training indoors is really just more convenient.
While I’ve had a love/hate relationship with running, the truth is…is that my body excels when I do what is most uncomfortable. Trying to breathe through a 8.0 sprint is much different than being on a level 18 on the stairmaster. Engaging my entire body in the last minute of my run is very different than holding on to the handlebars of an Ellipitical machine.
Running is very challenging; which is why I use this form of cardio to move me out of plateaus often.
For those who are non-runners like me, here is my top six advice for you:
- Start slow. I started by just running one mile at a 5.0 pace (that’s jogging for me). I made a commitment to finish at least twenty minutes total…even if I had a fast walk (instead of jogging) in that time frame.
- Warm up. In the beginning my pace was around 5.8-6.0, so I would warm up at 4.8. Getting the blood flowing through my body for five minutes really helped me excel later on in the workout. So, don’t just start running and go instantly to your ‘running pace’. Warm up first!
- Download a running app. If you run outside the Nike GPS is a great app to track your pace and time. It also shows your mapped run and the times when your pace changed.
- Invest in some good music. I didn’t start using an IPOD until this year. I actually just use my iphone, but it does the job. I love knowing I can listen to five songs and be done with my workout. I also love listening to empowering music that makes me want to run faster!
- Commit to a weekly mile goal. When I first start running my weekly goal was five miles. Then I upped it to 10 miles/week. When I notice I can only get 6-7 miles in, I changed my goal to 8 miles/week. You have to constantly change your goals to what is do-able for you!
- Don’t tell yourself “you’re not a runner”. Your attitude really influences how well you run. You need to slowly build your confidence by making achievable goals and running at a realistic pace for you! So don’t ask me how fast I run. Ask yourself how fast can you run for a sustained period of at least 20 minutes.
Screen shot on my iphone.