Wonder Woman Fitness

Keep on Running……

Posted on: October 6, 2010

 

Are you a beginner to running?  Not sure where to start?  Then read on my friends…… 

If you have always walked and fancied trying a jog but think that you are not fit enough or that you don’t have the confidence, believe me you are not alone.  There are so many people who want to take that step but just have no idea how to.  Running is a natural human instinct (I must admit there are some graceful joggers out there but mostly there are ungraceful ones like myself) we know how to do it and its inexpensive, a good pair of running shoes and some comfy clothes and your sorted. 

I have encountered many people over the years who are scared to progress from walking to running.  But once they made that first scary step they found that they really enjoyed it, they loved the difference it made to their body and also to their confidence.   

I have found that one of the most effective ways to make a start to running is to enter yourself in a 5k.  Now I know that this may seem like a long distance to a beginner but in a lot of 5k’s you can easily adopt the walk-jog strategy which is ideal for beginners.  The Race For Life events are ideal and they are so much fun (sorry guys these are aimed at women but there are 5k’s out there for you!).  They are brilliant events that women of all shapes, ages, sizes and fitness levels can take part in.  My first running event was a race for life 5k almost 10 years ago and I can still remember it and I believe that, that one event motivated me to do more and I’m sure they can motivate you too.  Once you have a goal in mind, every mile of training will take you just a little step closer to it.  Every step shortens the distance between you and your dream.  You may find, as I did, that you feel the achievement and the joy from doing it, oh and remember: A four minute mile is the exact same distance as a ten minute mile J

If you are still unsure of whether to replace your walking shoes with your running shoes just take a look at the benefits: 

  • Running is 2nd to cross country skiing in burning the most calories and is one of the best ways to lose body fat.  Plus it uses all the muscles in your body, so more muscles used, more calories burnt J
  • Muscles and bones get healthier and stronger due to the demands of running, this means you are more likely to delay or avoid the effects of osteoporosis and slow down the aging process
  • Running can help lower blood pressure, strengthen lungs, boost brain power, strengthen your heart and lower your cholesterol.
  • If you are running through the woods, the street or on the treadmill, when your happy hormones (endorphins to be technical) kick in everything seems to be a bit more manageable and you have a feeling that you are getting away from all the stresses of everyday life.

 

So I have convinced you to at least give running a try, what have you got to lose.  So here is a beginners running plan that you can use (all you need is a watch for outside or do it on a treadmill) that will break you into running gently and also it doubles as a 5k training schedule.  So by the last week you will be ready and fit enough to complete your first 5k!!! 

If with this program you do not feel ready to move onto the next week then repeat a week until you feel ready to progress.  Exercise and fitness is all about taking things steady, your training should push you but should not be too hard, and it is also about progression.  Slow and steady wins the race J 
 

Week Tuesday Thursday Sunday
1 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog
2 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog
3 20 minutes:90 secs walk – 90 secs jog 20 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 1 minute jog
4 20 minutes:90 secs walk – 90 secs jog 20 minutes:2 minutes walk – 2 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes then jog for 10 minutes
5 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 2 minutes jog 25 minutes:2 minutes walk – 2 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes then jog for 12 – 15 minutes
6 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 2 minutes jog 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 2 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes then jog for 16 – 20 minutes
7 25 minutes:1 minute walk – 3 minutes jog 30 minutes:1 minute walk – 3 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes the jog for 21 – 25 minutes
8 35 minutes:1 minute walk – 3 minutes jog 20 minutes:2 minutes walk – 2 minutes jog Walk for 2 minutes then jog for 25 minutes

So now you can run constantly for 25 minutes, so enter that 5k and keep up with the training.  You can now proudly say “I run, therefore I am a runner”

Keep active folks…………….  🙂

Once the above program becomes too easy then why not try this.  It is suitable for a beginner,  intermediate runner and the ex-runner.  So why not try interval training, which is my favourite, as it pushes you hard and its over in about 20 minutes so it is ideal if you are prone to motivation and boredom problems 🙂 The idea of interval training is alternating sprints with recovery runs i.e 2 minutes at a fast run followed by 2 minutes at a slow jog.  This type of training at higher speeds makes your body work harder and burns up to 30% more calories to keep up with the demands plus it increases your fitness quicker. 

Try these interval training techniques:

20 minutes easy optionWarm – up for 2 minutes at a brisk walk or slow jog, then 4 x 2 minute hard running speed followed by 4 x 2 minute slower running, cool – down for 2 minutes at a slow walk.  This can be done on a treadmill or if outside use a watch or run to a marker – lamposts are great!!

30 minute intermediate option:  Warm – up for 3 minutes at a brisk walk or a slow jog, then 8 x 2 minutes of hard runnning followed by 8 x 1 minute slower running, cool – down with 3 miuntes at a slow walk. 

 

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2 Responses to "Keep on Running……"

Excellent post Kelly, but do you have any tips for an ex-runner keen to get back into it, but looking at her shoes with fear? I just can bare to start again, even though I know long-term it will be good for me!

Hey Chloe,

I completely understand what you are saying. I go through the exact same thing when I have time off running and I feel that the best way to get back into running if you are an experienced runner and have a high level of fitness is to try interval/fartlek or hill training. These sessions can be short in time so if your boredom or motivation levels are low then best to try these. I will publish some ideas for this type of training. Hope this helps. I will quite happily try them with you when I get back 🙂

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