I’ve had several friends ask me to clue them in on the “how” of my transformation from couch potato to runner. This post is for them and anyone else who can use it.
How to run.
1. Put on a good bra. (This may be important for some of you men out there too.)
2. Put on appropriate attire.
(I prefer to be as covered as possible while still being comfortable and appreciate that in other runners, but if you are the kind of person who needs to flaunt it for some type of external motivation, more power to you, but you probably need therapy. How about you therapy folks just do what I did, start running in November in Utah, then we can all be happy.)
3. Wear good socks.
4. Lace up your shoes.
5. Go outside.
6. Walk for a little while. (Like a couple blocks or a couple of weeks or a couple of months.)
7. Realize your body can do more than walk.
8. Start walking faster.
9. Get sick of the burn in your butt and thighs from speed walking, and pick up the pace just a bit more.
10. Appreciate the fact that you are now jogging.
11. Jog until you get tired, which in the beginning may be a block or a half-block or a half of a half-block.
12. Slow to a walk, and take some time to rest your heart. Then make yourself jog some more.Do this until your allotted exercise time is up. Make sure it is at least for a half an hour, but an hour makes it more fun. Quit for the day. Walk back home. (If you are smart you would have turned back toward home halfway into your allotted time)
13. Memorize the spots where you started to jog and the spots that you just had to stop.
14. Two days later, walk to the same spot in #11, and when you get there, see if you can jog a little farther this time. (Yes, when you are a runner, you get a day in between runs to rest!)
15. Repeat #8-14, for as long as it takes.
16. Sign up for a 5k.
17. One day decide that you aren’t going to stop jogging until you hit the 3.2 mile mark.
18. Congratulate yourself because you are now more than a jogger. You are a real runner.
19. Repeat #16-18, as you will want need a faster time and there’s no better motivator than a race.
20. Somewhere along the way, you will find that 3.2 is just not long enough, and you will keep running past the 3.2 mark, you will change your running routes to work in hills, you will have used up 3 pairs of shoes, you will run at different times of the day, you will be working your running into your schedule like it’s your 5th child, you will love every second of solace, you will enjoy every time you feel winded and just have to spit or get a drink, you will love the hills, you will love the down-hills, you will watch your shadow day after day, you will be cranky if you haven’t had a run in over 2 days, you will run with friends (maybe only at races), you will stay after the races just to hang out with other runners even though you never win a prize, you will find yourself to be one of those obnoxious ladies at the baby shower who is suddenly surrounded by other runners comparing speed work techniques and running times and injury management, you will exceed your race goal and wonder if you are ready for the half yet, you will wonder why in the world you didn’t start sooner, and most of all you will be hooked for life.
To this I solemnly swear.
Just do it.
Running is cheap and takes little coordination.
All that is required is mind over matter.
I wouldn’t call it easy, but if it was easy then it wouldn’t be so awesome.
It does get easier the more you do it.
I’m not going to lie, it also gets harder, but that is the miracle of it, the harder it becomes, the better equipped you are to handle it, which means you are STRONGER!