Friday, June 18, 2010

Fit Friday: So you want to run, Step 3

Fit Friday is a regular feature on my blog.  I'm just a regular girl, who's had her fair share of weight and eating struggles, trying to figure it out for good, in order to give the right legacy to my three daughters.  If you have related recent posts, share them in the comments!

So, last week we talked about running gear and finding your route.  Hopefully you walked your route.  Now, it's time.  Time for your first run.

Step 3: Your First Run

This step is pretty straightfoward, but there are some other decisions you can make that will make or break the experience for you.

1.  Choose your time of day.  If you aren't a morning person, I don't recommend deciding to take your first run in the morning. You will be miserable and grumpy, and you won't complete it.  Don't run when it's really hot.  Again, you'll feel like you're dying and you'll never run again!  When I started running, I usually went in the late afternoon/early evening.

2.  What to eat when.  You need your muscles to be nourished when you run, but you probably will fill ill running on a full stomach. For my afternoon runs, I try to eat 150-200 calories about an hour prior to my run, preferablely something relatively healthy.  If I'm running first thing in the morning, I might eat a banana or small bowl of oatmeal.  If I'm heading to the treadmill in the garage, I usually don't eat anything.  If I happen to be running post-dinner, I make sure it's a very light dinner and I plan to eat more after my run.

3.  HYDRATE.  Drink water all day.  If you're running during a warm time, drink some extra water in the hour or two leading up to your run.  I usually stop drinking 30-45min before I run so that I have a chance to pee a few times and I don't have to pee while running.  When I run at the lake there are porta-potties if necessary.  I'm not big on Sports Drinks.  I was running over an hour more regularly I might, but just plain ole water suits me fine right now.


This is the other crucial part.  If you truly are new to running, you probably won't be able to run the entire two miles.  Don't expect to.  But draw up your plan of attack.  Here are my suggestions...

Warm up for 3-5min with brisk walking.  (I usually don't stretch before a run, only after)

Now, you run.  But don't go all out.  Go at an easy pace where you could still hold a conversation.  Remember, you don't want to kill yourself.  You just want to finish.  You aren't racing.

Run for as long as you can.  If you have a digital watch or timing device, aim for 3min or so.  If you can run longer, do so by all means.  Take a short 1-2min walking break, then run again.

Lather, rise, repeat, at least until you complete a mile.  "Running" one mile is your goal your first time out.  If you are completely out of steam, walk back.  But, my guess is, if you push yourself a bit, you could run a little more :)  Run a block.  Run to a certain landmark.  Usually I give myself a goal, and then I run a bit beyond it, just to show myself I can.  If you are using an iPod, walk the verses and run the choruses or vice versa.

My first run, was a very slow jog of 1 mile, no walking.  Then I walked back. 

That's it.  Your first run.  Your first few runs may be like this.  In the weeks to come, I'll continue to give tips and tricks that have helped me along my journey of being a runner.

Inspirational blog of the week: Racing With Babes

My Fit Week...
It's been a pretty fit week for me thus far, but it will start to derail tomorrow!  I ran early on Monday and Wednesday and I plan to run early tomorrow and again Saturday.  I made good eating choices this week and am still working towards my goal of losing those last 5lbs, making progress this week!

My birthday is Saturday, and celebrations begin tomorrow night!  My goal though is to maintain over the weekend with still making good choices with eating and running to accomodae for those extra dessert calories.  But celebrate I will, with no guilt whatsoever.  What's life for, if not for living!

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