As a beginner, I believe having some sort of plan is crucial. A plan can be as simple as “get up, get dressed, go run” or it can be a structured plan laying out how often to run and how long/far to go. The only thing all the plans must have in common to be successful is: “DON’T DO TOO MUCH TOO SOON!”
Lets face it, we have all done it before. We decide we are going to do something we have never done before or do something we USED to do all the time but haven’t in a long time, so off we go. (This sounds very autobiographical!) We may do okay at the time, but the next day it happens…DOMS! Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness! We wake up, go to roll out of bed and suddenly…EVERYTHING HURTS! (I swear even my hair hurt one time.) We vow to ourselves to “Never do that again!”
Besides ruining our motivation, trying to do too much too soon significantly raises the risk of injury. An injury in everyday life is bad enough, but most of us can manage our day to day tasks and work around it. An injury when running can sideline us completely and if it lasts long enough knock us right back to square one!
There are many plans out there for the beginner runner to choose from. My personal favorite is the C25K program (Couch To 5K) I also use the music mix; Podrunner Intervals, to help pace myself and keep time for the workouts. (Side Note: In weeks 7 through 9 I customized the BPM of the workouts for me. I will talk more about that later if anyone wants to know) Everyone needs to find what works for them.
Having a structured plan helps to keep me motivated. I am not one to quit something once I start and I love a challenge! I used to HATE running! Now, after 9 weeks, I can’t imagine not running. (Weird huh?)
Next Up: Why Do You Run?