Sunday, May 24, 2009

Guest Blog: Run for your life

Hello readers! Here is Julia's new guest blog, running tips - as promised!

I went for my first run last week. I was outfitted with my sparkly new shoes ...
... and picked a beautiful day to go out.

I had previously read up on a few "beginning running plans" online and had talked to my former P.E. teacher so I felt plenty prepared to start.
I found that some of the running plans out there pre-suppose that you can go bang out a 1.5 to 3-mile run right out of the gates. To those people I say ... what do you need a running plan for? My first tip: Don't pressure yourself at the start. Go slow. I found that the more I made myself feel I needed to accomplish a certain time goal, or a distance goal, the more pressure I felt and the less I wanted to go. I found a plan online for beginners that will slowly work you up to a full thirty minutes of running without stopping. I have modified the plan for my own use, so feel tree to adjust the times up or down depending on your fitness levels. Because I'm a lawyer, I have to remind you to consult a doctor before starting a running plan so none of you run out, overexert yourselves and then sue me later. I'm just protecting us both, you know? Here's the unmodified plan:
  • Week 1: Walk for six (6) minutes, jog for one (1) minute. Repeat three (3) times. Aim for three (3) times per week.
  • Week 2: Walk for five (5) minutes, jog for two (2) minutes. Repeat three (3) times. Aim for three (3) times per week.

  • Week 3: Walk for three (3) minutes, jog for four (4) minutes. Repeat four (4) times. Aim for four (4) times per week.

  • Week 4: Walk for two (2) minutes, jog for five (5) minutes. Repeat four (4) times. Aim for four (4) times per week.

  • Week 5: Walk for two (2) minutes, jog for eight (8) minutes. Repeat three (3) times. Aim for four (4) times per week.
  • Week 6: Walk for two (2) minutes, jog for nine (9) minutes. Repeat three (3) times. Aim for four (4) times per week.
  • Week 7: Walk for one (1) minute, jog for eleven (11) minutes. Repeat three (3) times. Aim for four (4) times per week.

  • Week 8: Run 1 of week 8: Walk 5 minutes, jog 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes. Run 2 of week 8: Walk 5 minutes, jog 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes. Run 3 of week 8: Walk 1 minute, jog 30 minutes. Run 4 of week 8: Walk 1 minute, jog 30 minutes.

While I am still new at this, I have come up with a few tips for those of you who are interested in starting a new running program or just want to try and get out and be a little more active. Here is what I found helpful:

1. If you are running, don't listen to those people who told you to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth - it's an urban myth! I looked this up and, as my lungs suspected, breathing through your nose doesn't give you enough oxygen. Breathe through your mouth.

2. Keep a running log. If you are into list and check marks and stickers, this is the tool for you. I like to see my goal all typed out, so I can ceremoniously mark something off and feel proud about it.

3. Find a visual inspiration, whether it's a picture of yourself in great shape, or a picture of someone whose shape you admire. I took the latter route and picked a few photos of Drew Barrymore. My friend Heather tells me I remind her of Drew Barrymore shape-wise, and since she lost 20 pounds a few years ago, I like to keep pictures of her as inspiration. See her cuteness!

4. Find time to fit it in. I know you are busy, or busy being lazy (like me) and mainly really don't have the energy to exercise (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this silly post about running!) My amazing cousin Daelene has two young girls, a full-time job, a husband, a home and a large extended family to fill her days. I saw her this last weekend and she is training for a triathlon! I asked her how she found the time to go, and the long and the short of it is she just makes the time. To get motivated, she focuses on a competitive goal, instead of just working out for working out sake. Instead of waking up super early (which she hates) or going after work (and cutting into her family time) she pops into the gym at lunch. She works out for about an hour, brings cleansing cloths to clean up, fluffs her hair under a dryer, and goes back to work. She clearly sees the value in focusing on herself and her goals, and makes fitness a priority. Along with Drew, she is my new inspiration!

5. Don't spend all your time preparing to run, researching running and creating logs about your running. Go running! This is really my worst habit: I like to read a lot about the subject, know a lot, do little preparatory things like getting shoes and fill water bottles, and then I run out of steam or interest and just don't do it. If reading your way thin was a possibility, I would be Nicole Richie by now. Obviously you have to go out and actually do the thing you've been preparing for. And that's what I'm going out to do now. Wish me luck!

Would you like to write a guest post? E-mail me and let me know!

3 comments:

Nanette said...

Luck!
I just need to do it as well and stop obsessing the details.
Great tips!

You are like Drew, aren't you? How splendid!

Sarah said...

Really great tips! Can't wait for the update on your progress. Good luck!

Julia said...

Sarah and Nanette, thank you so much for the encouraging comments! I will definitely keep you updated.