9 Nov 2011, 3:44pm
Mommy Hobbies running:

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  • Running: How I Started Running

    *and other bits of information*

    From the time I was 16 I gravitated toward running.  Late nights spent burning calories off my 110lbs frame.  I stopped running for a while and it wasn’t until I moved back East nearly four years ago that I got back in the groove.  But this time, I was accompanied by a cross-country runner who knew what she was doing and gave me pointers on how to master this beautiful sport of running.

    My first mile back on the roads was the most grueling and stomach churning.  I nearly puked in the last three-tenths of the mile but my little buddy wouldn’t let me stop.  She said, “puke, but keep moving.”  I dry-heaved and stumbled but I didn’t stop.  I completed 1.2 miles with a huge gasp and dropped to my back on my front lawn.  It was horrible.

    But it wasn’t until a few months after I had our second child that I made the real break-through.  We were on our nightly walk as a family and I was pushing our baby girl in a huge cumbersome stroller.  For some reason I got this crazy thought in my head to start jogging.  So I did.  I ran up and down these hills with a huge stroller and didn’t quit.  That was when I knew I wanted to do more.

    My first few runs were only a mile.  I didn’t follow any type of plan or schedule but my own.  I would increase my runs by a half-mile every couple of weeks.  I can’t remember if I ran everyday, but I know that I ran a lot.

    The Couch to 5k program suggests running every other day just so the muscles get a break.  When you start putting a new kind of stress on your body, it’s better to ease into it.  I, too, would run every other day and then I would cross-train on my days off.  I would do yoga, Zumba or lift weights.  It’s important to cross-train, to strengthen the core.

    After every run, I stretch, which is PARAMOUNT, because stretching helps to remove the lactic acid build up in the muscles and reduces the soreness.  It also helps improve flexibility and prevent injury on future runs.  Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good stretch.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve neglected my stretching regimen and regretted it because my next run was horrible.  My legs usually feel like large pieces of concrete and I slog through my run…blech.

    One of the hardest things to do is to pace.  My first year and a half of running, I ran “naked”.  That simply means without any type of device telling me my pace, distance, calorie burn…nothing.  It was just me and the hills.  I soon learned that my runs were the most rewarding if I could pace myself with breathing.  In through the nose, out through the mouth and in steady intervals.  This is how I learned to find my pace.

    If I could keep a steady rhythm with my breathing without have to *suck* or *heave* my breath in, then I was good.  On the other hand, if I could carry on a girly-girl convo while running, I wasn’t pushing hard enough.  My breath needed to be just enough to keep me going.  Proper breathing is so important.  Your muscles need the oxygen to keep moving and you need it to stay standing!

    I hope this helps.  Any other questions, please ask!  I’m not a pro and am just learning about all of this myself…but I love sharing what I’ve learned.

    *next up :: foods to eat for a better running experience, and how I keep my knees from cracking off my body. hah*

    Thank you! You answered many of my questions already. I can’t wait to read more! The breathing info is very helpful. I wondered how to best gauge pace.
    I have an app called “Map My Run” that I’m hoping will help me once I graduate from c25k. :)


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