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I am dragging my feet to train for the running part of a mini triathlon that is in August. I have never like to run unless it was on a tennis court. Does anyone have any suggestions how I can learn to like it and what the best plan is to get motivate to start training? I don't own running shoes and need some advice without spending a fortune.
Running was never something I planned to do, let alone love. Then one day I went to cheer on a friend in a marathon and I caught the bug. I couldn't wait to start running. I went home, laced up my old walking shoes and took off...about 30 seconds later I was about to pass out. I found a training schedule, the "Couch Potato to 5k Runner" on coolrunning.com, and followed it. I soon built up my endurance and my strength. I have since entered at least one event each month and am now training for my first half!
The first thing I can suggest is to find a new way to think about the running portion of your event...if you dread it in practice, imagine how much tougher it will be on the day of your event after swimming and biking. Next, and this is what helped me most, get yourself an mp3 player and load it up with music that you love to move to. Lastly, find somewhere to run that you'll enjoy being. Don't run on the busy streets where you're likely to spend most of your run dodging cars or waiting for lights to change. Find a park, a beach, a lake or anywhere that you would like to spend the next hour.....then turn on your music, be happy to have time away from the stresses in your life and enjoy your run.
I totally understand where you're coming from. I, too, hated to run. When I first began running about 3 or 4 years ago I could only run for 10 minutes max . . . and hated every minute of it. I'm gonna have to agree that loading up an MP3 player or iPod with a ton of music you love will definitely help motivate you. If you can find a running buddy that might help too. I've always enjoyed working out alone because it's my time to just be inside my head with my own thoughts. But the running, at first, was a real drag. I think you'll find, as I did, that with each increase in distance that you achieve you'll start to like running more and more. And if you try to focus on the physical benefits that you'll get out of running, that can be a real motivator too. And just think, a mini tri is just a short run, so it'll be over in no time and you'll feel amazing at what you've accomplished!! But . . . definitely get a good pair of running shoes. Nothing will make you hate running more than shin splints or some other injury that could have been prevented by a good pair of running shoes. Try to find a running store in your area that does a fitting where they analyze your stride on a treadmill, measure your feet , etc. Shouldn't cost anything extra and they can really custom fit you for a pair of shoes. And you should be able to find a decent pair that doesn't cost a ton of money. Any good running store will consider your budget as well as your fit. Good luck to you and happy running!!
I remember absolutely HATING to run when I was in PE classes in Jr. High and High School. I hated the burning in my lungs and my legs, and I hated the way my thighs rubbed together which led to chafing and itchy skin. When I started to run years later to lose weight, I still didn't like it, but it seemed like the easiest and cheapest activity to undertake (all other activities seemed to require expensive equipment or specific training). Then last year I joined an exercise group that does lots of cross training including running. Many of the aerobic activities are pretty intense, and I remember one particularly greuling session in which I was literally gasping for breath, and then we were told to jog around an area of the park where we do our workouts. I remember thinking, "Oh thank God, now I can relax." That's when it hit me that I was beginning to enjoy running. I still can't say that I LOVE it, but it seems that it's not as horrible as it used to be. I still don't like to sprint, but jogging usually has a calming effect on me.
Maybe keeping track of your progress will help motivate you. In my exercise group, I take advantage of the timed miles so I can see how well I'm improving. I recently was able to run a mile in less than 10 minutes and I was quite pleased with myself (my first timed mile was done in 11:58), and I like to try to improve that number by a few seconds each month.
As for shoes, definitely go to a running store staffed by knowledgeable people (not a chain store staffed by high schoolers). Talk with the customer service people, and have them help you try on several different pairs of shoes. Seems like most of the shoes I've seen run between $70 and $120, and I think mine were around $90. Also, definitely get some running socks. They really make a difference in comfort. I found out the hard way when I got a blister on the arch of my foot because I chose not to wear my running socks. Hope this has been helpful for you!
Hey Snarly, The other posts gave some great answers. But I do want to add one thing. There's a phenomenon that is common and you may be experiencing it. First, as the other posts stated, you must build up to it a little bit before it can become fun. But just beyond that you will likely run into what I call the "10 minute drag."
IN SHORT: I almost always hate the first 10 minutes (longer if it's cold) but if I get past that, I "settle in" and it's OK, THEN later, I really settle in and feel like I can go indefinitely. Call it a frequent but mild runner's high if you will, but I really enjoy it. (Note: you must have some base line conditioning in order to run comfortably past 10 minutes, but that will not take long at all.) SO, be religious about warming up and allow yourself to go very slowely for about 1.5 miles (longer if it's cold) and that will minimize this 10 minute drag.
OPTIONAL DETAIL: How did I discover this? I exercised (mostly on the treadmill) for 20 years and always hated it, but did it for health only. I put out a small effort for 20-30 minutes but rarely put out high effort. Then one weekend my friends and I took a 4 mile walk. I began running that same course and discovered that I really enjoyed the last 2 miles, but hated almost the entire first two miles. As I increased mileage, I noticed that I almost always hated the first 10 minutes (longer if it's cold). It's the warm-up... my body dragging until my cardio system began to really pump efficiently. I fell in love with running as I reached this state of being "settled in" and the associated feeling of indefinite capability. It's a great feeling and it's frequent in my running now (except during high output runs for further conditioning).
Excellent point, Mark Rice, about the 10 minutes to "settle in". I never understood that phenomenon, but I can vouch for the fact that it's so completely true. I have always experienced the same thing when running, even up to this day. I can say I LOVE RUNNING . . . but still hate the first 10 minutes. During those 10 minutes I'm convincing myself that running is a good idea and I like it. By that time the 10 min has passed, I have fallen in love with running again! Funny how that works.
I am SO with you guys with the 10 minute drag thing. I warm up by walking a few minutes, then bust out into my running, but I am not fully where I need to be at that point to run so I hate it. In my mind, I'm thinking, "well, I could just do 10 minutes and pack it in today since I don't feel like I am in the zone", but once I reach that 10 minute mark, I'm at a point where I feel like 10 more minutes would be fine, and so on. I try to set a goal time to run and then plan on actually doing it, and reminding myself during that 10 minutes that I HAVE to. Unless you feel an injury coming on or something not quite right physically, you can usually push yourself mentally past anything.
I'm very new to running, but the Nike + system has been a great motivator for me.
It tracks your overall miles and pace, but even better is the challenges.
Challenges vary from:
"Let's run X miles in X days" - everyone tries to run X miles in X days - not a person vs person thing, more of a person vs miles thing... a lot of "let's all do this" type encouragement
"First to run X miles" more of a person vs persom thing = more trash talk.
"Fastest X miles" = too competitive for me, I'm not into speed...
You'll need an iPod Nano and the Nike + system (~$30) . Well worth the money!
Agreed on the 10-minute lag. The last race I ran I had it so bad I wanted to quit and as well, I didn't understand that. Lots of good advice here and I've taken all of it in. I too still hate to run but like someone said, it's the easiest and least expensive exercise to take up. I do hate running but WANT so badly to LOVE running that I keep trying. If it weren't for all the races I run (5Ks mostly) and the comradry I feel during the run and especially at the finish line, I probably wouldn't keep trying.
I just started a thread about having just hired a personal trainer for this reason. Even though I run a lot of small runs; exercise and races, I'm not 1) losing weight yet, and 2) for some reason still not fit enough to improve on my running.
Therefore, the trainer and I'm looking forward to loving running. I WILL NOT give up!
Thank you for your input. Everyone that has responded has good info and ideas. Today I went to the Runner's Roost and bought running shoes!! So now I will try my best to learn to like running. On the tennis court I run like crazy!