A friend sent me a Facebook message the other day:
Dude. I want to learn how to run. Turns out? I know nothing about running and I don’t think I could run away from a bear if my life depended on it. That’s patently not good. You learned how to run. How did you learn how to run?
I was touched that she asked me this. I’ve mentioned before – I hate running. Also, I am still about 50 pounds overweight. I am no one’s idea of the ideal runner.
So it meant a lot to me that she thought I could point her in the right direction. I realized that, though I am definitely not an expert or an elite coach, I might be the perfect person to help those who are just getting started. If you are intimidated by the prospect of running, or think you don’t know how, guess what? You can totally do this. God’s honest truth, (at least at the non-competitive level) there is nothing to learn, and anyone who tells you differently is pulling some emperor’s new clothes shit with you. You know walking? Do it faster.
Here are the things about running that I find to be true and helpful:
1. Walk/run intervals. Start with something like Couch-to-5k that slowly introduces more and more bouts of running into a 30 minute walk, or get a watch with an interval timer (I like this one) and start out jogging for 1 minute, then walking for 1 minute, and gradually up it as you get more comfortable (3:1 is comfortable for me for long distances).
2. Good shoes. Go to a running store, have them observe your gait and suggest some shoes.
4. Pace doesn’t matter. Go slow at first (or forever). It’s all good.