Manic Monday ~ Wanna Run?

It seems like running any distance race is on many people's bucket list of things to achieve. Whether it be a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, marathon, or our local Bix 7 run, they are all races that require some training if you are planning on running the whole distance. I find though, that many people just don't know how to begin a regime of running. My answer use to be, "just go run!" Of course, that's coming from me being an avid runner. That advice all changed after I gave birth to my daughter. Up until that point I would run 5-12 mile stints 4-5,days a week up to a full 40 weeks of pregnancy. And looking back, I must have looked pretty funny! My poor babies, they all endured hours of momma hitting the pavement. Once my daughter was born, I took 14 days off of exercise and then one morning I hopped on the treadmill thinking I could just resume where I left off just a few weeks prior. Hmmm....it didn't work out that way. My body was not ready as it went through many changes. Over 9 months of adjusting to carrying a baby my body adapted and now all of the sudden the weight has changed on my joints, my muscles were weak in the core, I was top heavy as a nursing mother...... Ugggg! I suddenly endured a different feeling towards running: this was going to be hard! I suppose you could say that I was experiencing the same emotions as one would feel if they are just starting a running program. AND I became convinced in that moment, that I could now understand how beginners feel! The advice: "just go out and run," would no longer be my prescription to anybody!

It took me another 2 weeks to get back on the treadmill. I started walking for the first week. The second week, I started a running interval of 3 minutes walking, 1 minute jogging. I repeated this for 20 minutes. Weeks 3 and 4 came and I walked 27 minutes, jogged 2 minutes; I repeated this cycle for 30 minutes. By week 6. I was running 5 minutes and walking 1 minute for 30-40 minutes. Before week 8 came, I began running for 30 minutes non-stop. That was my base. As soon as I reached that 30 minute mark consistently, I knew I could build on that even more. I reached a comfortable regime on the treadmill that included 3-4 days of running 30-60 minutes. I made sure I incorporated a day of rest in between ( or a least performed the elliptical or walked on those days off). I didn't worry about mileage and pace. My first goal was getting some built up endurance. After 3 months, I tackled a new barrier: running outside.

Running on the treadmill is a great idea if you are just getting started with running. The treadmill deck is less absorbent of your impact and therefore can be easier on you and less stress on your knees and back. The treadmill also keeps you at a consistent speed, whereas outdoor running can be a challenge to gage unless you have a good pace watch...and you use it. Also, a treadmill is null to incline (unless you have an adjustable incline). Outdoor running usually has many different inclines (and declines). A flat course outdoors usually has a .5-1.5% incline naturally. That alone, can be enough to challenge you on an outdoor run.

Transitioning a treadmill regime to outdoors will require you to re-establish a new training plan to adjust to outdoor running. Outdoor running can be a wonderful experience. Fresh air, new scenery, and endless paths are great qualities of outdoor running. Whether you start indoors or outdoors, find a pace and level that you enjoy. Take time to build up week to week. Shoot for a goal. A specific race event is a great goal to achieve. Whatever your goal, keep at it. Make small weekly gains and before you know it, you will be ready to conquer your goal!!

Don't have a goal in mind yet? Here is a short list of some upcoming events:

May 14- Quad Cities Distance Classic (5K or half marathon) Rock Island

June- Rhubarb Run (5K) Aledo ***confirm date

June 10- Race for the Cure (5K or 1 mile) Moline

June 24- Royal Ball Run for Autism (5K) Milan

July - Firemen's Charity 8K run, Sherrard ***confirm date

July 29- Bix 7 (7 miles or 2 miles) Davenport

Wanna run? It's a great time to set your goal! And I hope to "run" into you at an event, in the gym, or on the pavement!

Have a GREAT week!

Rachel Zimmerman,

Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach

ACE/NSCA

Wife, Mother, and Friend.

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