Today my Nike Plus notified me that I logged my 1,000 kilometer! (Last time the site gave me a widget…this time? They gave my widget headphones. Ummm, thanks?!) It’s been a really tough running summer/early fall. I hurt my knee, fell off my bike, the rigors of life at a job an hour and change away, etc. The knee is still not 100%, but since I usually stop running all together from December to March, I figured I’d just gut it out for a while. And gut it out I have. Since I get asked by a lot for people just starting out, here are some pointers.
I ran playing sports my entire young life, and hated it I might add! I mean I liked “making sports” as my French intern used to say, but the training part of just miles of boring running in preparation? Not so much. When my playing days were over, and I returned to running just for the sake of running? My initial efforts were poor. I set out to run 2 miles, and I could barely finish two minutes. Which brings me to my first point..
SET A GOAL. It can be a distance or a time that you run. Obviously when you begin, there is a chance, a good chance, that you will not be able to run the entire distance. FINISH ANYWAY. And no, I do not mean to run til you hurt yourself. Walk. And if you get a second wind? Run again, and then stop and hope you get a third wind. Point is…if you want to “run” two miles? Physically make yourself do the two, even if you are walking. If you want to “run” for 40 minutes? Physically make your body run/walk for the entire time. Keep track of your times and run to walk ratio. Then the next time you go? Try and cut down the walk portion of the run, until you are running the entire time.
MUSIC. I have been told that “serious runners” don’t run with music. I do. And I don’t know too many non-serious runners that can run 10 miles. I find there is unbelievable motivation in running with an Ipod. It is very zen to just put on your favorite tunes, let the wind and the sun hit your face, and mentally check out for an hour or so. Running is the cheapest and most effective anti-depressant you will ever find, as long as you don’t mind being fit as a side-effect!
ORGANIZED RUNS. Once you make your initial goal? Set a goal to run in an organized run. 1 mile, 2 mile, 5k, 10k, etc. etc. There are all distances. Running with other people and a number pinned to your chest gives you an adrenaline boost. My best times are always in race environments, even though at my age, I am only racing myself!
SPREAD YOUR RUNNING NEWS. In the era of email, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc. Share your running news with your friends and networks. You will soon find other friends also into running and you’ll find inspiration in that.
NIKE IPOD KIT. After this blog entry, (Romeo Discrimination), some might be shocked to still hear me endorse Nike. And while the shoes do not fit me as well as New Balance, I absolutely love, and have found immeasurable inspiration in the Nike Ipod Kit. If you have a Nano, the Kit allows you to measure and time your runs in very elaborate detail, and then collect every run you make. I have recorded over 1000km with my kit and have found it very inspiring. They also give you cool widgets like the one below!