Posted Jan 17, 2007
During late spring of 2005, I decided to start running. Part of my motivation was the trip I was taking to Peru and all the hiking I was planning to do. I also found out about local runs that were held in the Orlando area, that were for both serious runners and people who just wanted to have fun. Running was to become a new hobby for me, in addition to the rollerblading and volleyball I played weekly.
I have to admit, that I used to hate running, but I soon discovered that the reasons I hated running were because I was doing it the wrong way. The main problem I had was being impatient. I started out with too much speed and jumped into it, without conditioning my body for the task ahead. Maybe I missed something in my gym classes, but I always remember my gym teachers making us run a mile without much training behind it, except for the basic stretches beforehand. About 3/4 of the way, my side would start hurting and I would be gasping for air. By the end, I would think how much running sucked and couldn't understand how anyone could do it. Plus they would only have us run once a semester or year, so their was no chance of us getting any better.
Fast forward to 2005 and I started reading up on what a beginner needs to do to start running. And I would ask friends who were already running. Another big inspiration for me is the book Mastery by George Leonard. He has all the reasons why people give up in life, whether it's for sports or in the business world. And he explains how to pass these hurdles and what type of resistance we can expect along the way.
Starting with conditioning, I learned I had to start jogging at a slow speed, just about slower than a brisk walk. And I wasn't too run a mile just like that. The time period would be about 30 minutes, every other day. It would start with about a 15 minute walk, that gradually picked up speed. This would warm up and loosen up your muscles. Then about about 15 minutes, you start jogging at that slow speed for only 30 seconds, walk for 90 seconds and walk again for 30 seconds. Keep alternating and doing this for as long as you can, which is probably about 15 to 30 minutes. After you feel you have mastered this in the first 2 weeks, then for the next 2 weeks, alternate 60 seconds walking with 60 seconds jogging. Then the next 2 weeks, do 30 seconds walking and 90 seconds walking. But always start it all off with some simple stretching and 15 minutes of walking, with your walking speed increasing gradually.
I have to admit, I didn't do the full 6 weeks of conditioning. I probably cut it down a bit, but maybe it works differently for other people.
What was happening here is my lungs were getting stronger and bigger to allow all that air to flow through. And my legs were getting stronger to allow the extra pressure I was adding and the strength I needed to move my legs through the bouncing needed in jogging.
Once I started comfortably able to do a mile straight, I did notice the next day that my lungs were sore and I had a little trouble taking deep breaths. This feeling passed on and the more I ran, the less I had this problem.
Eventually, after about a summer of training, I was ready to run the 3 miles I was trying for and to run in my first local run.