I started running in High School. I remember putting on my Dad's Lakers ball cap, jogging the loop and thinking I was so damn cool.
No but for real, running is my jam. It's a real addiction. I started for physical fitness but now I think its more mental fitness. I run for pure pleasure (and now to exercise my dog). Maybe once a year I will sign up for an event, like a 10km race or if my friend really pushes me, we will train for a longer run. The longest I have ever done is a 30 km trail run and man, that was my fav! Running allows my creative juices to flow, wakes me up in the morning and strengthens my heart muscle. It can also be a social thing, which is when I have really great conversations with my friends, probably better than the ones we have over coffee. As well, if you are directionally handicapped like me, it's a method of choice to learn my way around a new city (I learned the city of Montreal, some of Vancouver, and lots of Tel Aviv all by strapping my runners on). The list goes on for reasons why I run.
Running isn't for everyone, and it doesn't have to be, but this post is dedicated to it.
This post is mainly for someone who wants to get into running for the first time or get back into it because its been so long. Whether you are a runner, a future runner or a health professional, The Running Clinic founded by Blaise Dubois is an excellent place to start www.therunningclinic.com. You can trust this website and it has tips for various goals. I have my level one with this organization (1.0 New trends in the prevention of running injuries) and in an ideal world, I would have all the levels... but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
I have attached some information below and a few take homes messages:
1. The body adapts. As long as the applied stress is not greater than the body's capacity to adapt. Essentially this means, too much too fast will cause overuse injuries. To avoid this, every new stimulus must be integrated progressively. Meaning, if you are just starting to run slowly increasing the running time > walking time will be your safest bet. Or if you are beginning to train on hills, slowly increasing hill time > flats will help to avoid unnecessary set backs. New shoes? Make the transition gradual. Longer distance? Run frequently and slowly increase the distance... I can go into much more detail but the primary principle I would like you to remember is allow your body to adapt by progressively adding more.
2. Running your first 5km: Here is a very detailed 7 page document. It includes a 16 week training plan that takes you from zero to hero. This is a general guideline and teaches key concepts that you should take into consideration when getting started. You can jump ahead, shorten the program, but remember to listen to your body and enjoy the process.
3. Cross-Training: Any combination of exercise to develop a balanced athlete. Keep this in mind when setting goals. For example, biking, swimming, cross country skiing; all great exercises to complement the muscles involved in running. As well, specific strength training can be done to help prevent injuries and develop a strong foundation. I have attached an example strength program with some of my favorite exercises. Remember this is an example, and form is important, you may want to seek professional help when starting off.
Feel free to message me if you have specific questions.
See you on the trails!