Okay, here it is, “I hate running”. Now that I have come clean about that, let me tell you why/how I am learning to love running (I never thought I would say love and running in the same sentence).
It all started two weeks ago when I was tired of the same routine at the gym, the same faces at the gym, and the same smells at the gym (which, by the way, are not good). I had read about a running program that seemed to make a lot of sense and at the same time gave me a bit of motivation, not like the motivation I get from our fabulous workout towels, but motivation just the same. Karma asked me to share this program with you, because she has seen a big change in my attitude towards running since I started. So if you have been thinking about starting to run, and don’t know exactly how to get started, this program worked for me and maybe it will work for you too.
I started the program by purchasing a Timex Ironman watch at REI. The watch does interval timing and a lot of other cool stuff that you can read about at the link.
Day 1 ( 30 minutes): I set my watch for walk 3 minutes, run 1 minute, which made running a lot of fun. I had plenty of energy to walk and talk and my trusty new watch beeps at me when it’s time to run and beeps again when it’s time to walk. Now those of you who know me know that I am in much better cardio shape than a 1 minute slow jog, but remember that I have always hated running, so it wasn’t about the time it was about learning to love the running.
Day 2: The program suggests you just walk 30 minutes so I did, however, I found it pretty boring and way too easy (but because this is a program I stuck to it).
Day 3: The first day was way too easy so I changed my trusty watch to a walk 2, run 1 (and by the way, it was not a fast run, more like a slow turtle run). I finished Day 3 and then added some mileage so I was going at least 4 miles. I felt great!
Day 4: Walk (plus I lift weights on my walk days).
Day 5: Once again I sped up my program. This time I did run 1 min 30 sec, then walk 1 min 30 seconds for the full 4 miles. Without even thinking about it I had run 25 minutes, plus a few more, because I felt so good at the end I just kept running! I thought I was Forrest Gump!
To continue with the program you are supposed to add running to your time every 4 days and subtract time from the rest period as you feel the need. So far I feel the need to rest 1 min 30 seconds, but my running time and speed have increased.
I now believe the key to running (for me) is the watch, because there is no looking at your wrist, no keeping track of anything, it just beeps, and you don’t have time to make excuses or walk a little farther. For example, we live in a very hilly area so sometimes I find myself running up the hill and sometimes I find myself walking up the hill — the watch does not give me the choice to run or walk up the hill — it just depends on what interval I am on at that time. It’s like having your own personal drill sergeant!
I also really like that you can adjust the program to fit your own needs and goals and I am happy to report that after 2 weeks I can actually see serious definition coming back to my legs and I can feel the different muscle groups working and at the end of my walk/run I am getting a serious runner’s high.
I actually love running now because I get to do it my way. Did I actually say, “I love running?” Shhh don’t tell anyone.