Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 366 - Somebody stop him!

Yeah, I ran today.

It's the first day of a New Year, and there's really no better way to start a new year than to get up at 7:00am and park downtown and run in a big circle with a bunch of likewise hungover people.

This was the least energetic gaggle of runners I've ever seen. It looked like a funeral, except there were fewer people smiling, and most of them were wearing spandex.

Looking around the crowd, it didn't look like there were too many "resolvers". But I know you're out there. And hopefully, some of you have decided to give the lifestyle that is running a try.

So... here's my prescription for new, or returning runners.

  1. Don't run everyday. That's just stupid. Trust me on that one. If you run one day, don't run again until you aren't the least bit sore from the last run. To start, for the first few weeks at least, run no more than every other day.
  2. When you run, follow this workout plan... start with a slightly fast walk for 5 minutes. Then, if you feel like it, run/trot/jog easily. Very easy. If you don't feel like it, then just walk. That's totally cool. If you did run for a bit, then run until you start to feel the slightest bit uncomfortable. Then, walk until you are fully recovered. Then, you can run some more if you want, again, until you feel uncomfortable, then walk again. Do this for say 15-20 minutes, and then give yourself a 5 minute walking cool down.
  3. Whenever possible, run with a running buddy.
  4. Do not use a treadmill. Treadmills suck. They suck the fun out of running. You don't need a TV. You don't want to be distracted. You want to be listening to your body. Go outside. You'll be fine, I promise.
  5. Rinse and repeat.
That's it. No time goals. No distance goals.

Just listen to your body. Run when your body is up for it. And when you do run, let your body tell you when it's ready to run and when it needs a rest.

Be patient. Your body needs to make some changes to be able to run. If it hurts, stop. When you feel better, start back. But don't quit.

Before you know it, the running sections of your workout will get longer, and the walking/recovery parts will get shorter, and then, one day, you're running the whole way. And then, then you can start increasing your workouts past 20 minutes.

Easy peasy.

Go forth! Let loose the runner that's been hibernating inside you.

This runner is taking tomorrow off.

Good running,
Doug

P.S. Big thanks to all of you above average looking readers who gave me a generous virtual pat on the back. And a HUGE thanks to Deb the GF, Deb the sister, David, Marty, Nora, and Jolisa for sharing a pint of celebratory goodness with me yesterday. Special thanks to my kids for their support in the form of not burning the house down, to the GF for a year of patience, support, courtesy laughs, and $11, and to Emma for the amazing card. And look, thanks to my sibs, there actually is a trophy!

Trophy/Snow Globe/Music Box/Awesome

Numbers: 2.0 miles on the streets of downtown Indy