My friend Dessah has started using the “walk to running a 5K” plan from my book The Gift of Running. Like many new runners, she is full of inspiration and genuinely excited about becoming a runner. It is a wonderful thing.
Sometimes, however, that excitement can turn into overdoing it a bit. As you follow my program or any other training program keep two things in mind:
- A training program is just a guideline
- Start slowly and gently!
As for following the training program, it is generally a good idea to not stray too far from the program. On the other hand, it is only a guideline. You have to fit your running into your life where and how it makes sense.
Along that line of reasoning, Dessah asked me a very smart question: Is it okay for me to break up my long walk into pieces? Yes, Dessah, I think that is a great way to get in the exercise and still keep track of those toddlers you are chasing around. When you need to make changes to your program, keep the big ideas in mind: slowly increase your time and distance running. Walk on the walking days. Rest on the rest days. If you keep those in mind, then your changes will not hurt your progress. They will simply help you fit it into your life a bit better.
One thing I want to caution Dessah and all other new runners about is your intensity level.
You are at the very beginning of your journey.
Make sure you are starting slowly and gently.
Your first runs may be at a pace that you could easily walk. That is okay! You need to gently introduce your body to the idea of running. Stay slow and make sure that you are gently touching the ground as you run. You can speed up later when your body is ready.
For now, relax and enjoy the run!
The Gift of Running is now available in both paperback & e-book
– Paperback Version – Amazon.com $9.00
– Ebook Version – Kindle Store $2.99
– Ebook Version for Nook $2.99