I am not a runner. I don’t typically enjoy running. I usually begged my way out of running the mile in school complaining of menstrual cramps to my male P.E. teachers. I’m a person who’s been known to say “I only run if chased.”
But, last month, I ran. Voluntarily. I did it multiple times and the shocking part? For the first time in my life, I enjoyed running. Before this happened though, I did two things first.
1. I bought a comfortable, supportive pair of running shoes.
After taking to Twitter to survey others on a reliable running shoe brand, I decided to try New Balance. I remember having seen New Balance shoes at Marshall’s in town, so I looked up various pairs and style online, read reviews and took a list of model numbers with me to the store. I actually found several highly rated pairs and ended up trying on six different shoes until I found the pair that made me feel like I was running on lightweight, cushy springs.
2. I downloaded an app for my phone called “Get Running”.
At the recommendation of a Twitter friend, I decided to try the Couch to 5K runner training plan via the Get Running app (available for $2.99). It’s designed for people who are literally just starting to run (and get up off the couch!) and will build up endurance over a period of nine weeks (just three 30 minute work outs per week) to the point in which the runner will be able to run five straight kilometers without stopping.
The Get Running app coaches you verbally through each workout, day by day, week by week. A friendly voice encourages you and counts down as you complete each phase of the workout. Example: In week one, you will walk for five minutes to warm up, and the voice will alert you as to the end of the five minutes and it being time to begin your first one-minute run. Halfway through the minute long run, the voice will let you know you have “just thirty seconds remaining before you can walk again!” You then walk for one and a half minutes, run for a minute and so on with the voice coaching you all along. Each workout in the first week requires just eight total minutes of running.
I can not believe I am actually saying that running feels like a doable and even enjoyable workout, but I am! I’m not sure if it’s just getting outside, enjoying the sights and smells of the neighborhood (I swear half of the houses I run near must make garlic bread or barbecue nightly!) or just the energy boost I get afterwards that’s addicting me to running, but whatever it is, it’s working.
If you’ve never run before, I highly encourage you to try the Get Running app or the Couch to 5K running program. Be sure you have good running shoes, dress appropriately and try to pick a time at which the outside temperature is as comfortable as possible. Start slowly, and don’t forget to stretch after. Give it a shot, who knows, you may actually like it! And if you do, come back and tell me so — maybe we can be running buddies sometime!