Starting to run is a conscious decision to obtain a single goal.
The decision to run can come from a desire to get fit, lose weight, de-stress or any other personal decision. Nobody can convince you to achieve your goal but you. Remember, that your goal is just that, YOURS. It may be different from others but it remains yours.
I’ll try not sound like an accountant when I say “plan your goal”. If you don’t put to paper what you hope to achieve, your chances of success are minimal. You need to know your progress – you need to know when the goal is to be achieved by – you need to know how to achieve your goal – you need information.
Information is generally free with the use of the internet and running specific websites. There are however three items to purchase BEFORE you start.
1. The Runners Guide by Tom Cottrell
2. The Lore of Running by Tim Noakes, MD
3. A subscription to Runners World, monthly magazine
The Runners Guide gives you all the race information you will require in attaining your goals. It won’t help that your goal is a 32km race and you chose the RAC Tough One. You would rather choose the Kellogg’s 32km. The runners Guide will give you a great reference to which race, when. Further to the book, refer to Tom’s website www.runnersguide.co.za. This is most certainly the best of the best when it comes to running in SA.
The Lore of Running is referred to by many as “the runner bible”. It’s 800 pages long but don’t let this scare you. Tim Noakes is firstly a runner, then a medical doctor and further a professor. Whatever you do, read it. I don’t necessarily mean that you must read page for page before you start, as one never really finishes the book. The book should be used as an encyclopedia for running.
Need motivation, subscribe to Runners World by Touchline Media. If you are a Discovery Health member, you only pay R 50 per annum! I have mixed feelings with regards Runners World as a magazine for novice runners. The reason being is that a novice runner is a sponge absorbing any information handed out, good or bad. Over the years, Runners World has had many articles for the beginner, which had certain contradictions. There were underlying assumption, as to how fit the person was, what age, what weight and many others. The problem is that although as a human we are designed to run, through Westernization we have become lazy. The magazine however, as a whole, is invaluable for the runner. It provides up-to-date information on all aspects of running.
GET HEALTHY BEFORE YOU GET FIT.
I speak to many people attempting to get fit but lead an unhealthy lifestyle. If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, change it! I know that this sounds “easy to say” but change is what life’s all about and what makes life interesting. It’s called living. Without change we are merely robots, surviving each day as it comes and heading nowhere but to a life of “I wish I had done…”
You will most likely do more damage trying to get fit without changing your unhealthy lifestyle. If you are stressed, welcome to life. You are not the only one. Every person I know is stressed, without exception. The difference is how people handle their stress. People who cannot handle stress find stress in everything. What should be a absolute “natural high” of reading to your child when he / she goes to sleep, becomes stressful as you had a bad day, you are hungry, your boss doesn’t understand or appreciate you, you, you, you. Take time to recognize the pure joys of life. Once the day ends, it ends. It doesn’t come around again.
If you are overweight, do something about it. Don’t spend money on TV products or alike. All the information on nutrition is freely available through pharmacies, doctors, websites and magazines and many more. You must make the decision to make the change. A simple solution with big results is not to eat carbohydrates after 4pm. Forget about that big meal at dinner-time. Get information and get pro-active. I will gladly offer some advise on my thoughts as to how to lose the weight. Unfortunately, I can only offer advice, you have to do it.
STARTING TO WALK, LEARNING TO RUN.
If you scrolled down to this section and missed the first two sections, go back!
When you were a baby, you generally learnt to crawl then to walk, then to run. Don’t compare yourself to chose you didn’t crawl as a baby or those who didn’t learn to walk before learning to run. I won’t mention any names Bruce.
This is of great importance and a lesson I didn’t learn until it was too late. I was reasonably fit from tennis and soccer and at a perfect weight for my age and height. I started running with a friend who was a runner. It went great for the first four months until a pain on my left shin stopped me from running. A bone scan indicated a grade three stress-fracture. I had no pain leading up-to the injury or any symptoms that an injury was on its way. I had a further six months of recovery to read and learn to which I thank The Lore of Running for guidance. I did too much too early.
Once given the all clear, I undertook to learn to how to walk before getting back on the road. For the next three months, I walked on a treadmill and did strength cross-training. My progress was closely monitored and I became walking fit. Then and only then did I head back on the road. It was a frustrating period as my running partner by now was very fit and running good times at races I couldn’t yet attend.
The following is a extract from The Lore of Running which, in my opinion, is the best advice I have read for a beginner to start the journey of the runner.
TIME TO WALK / RUN
THE GOAL: Run a 10km race after 25 weeks
Notice that it takes 25 weeks to train for a 10km (with continued training it only takes a further 11 weeks to progress to a standard marathon) Refer to Lore of Running for further information.
|LORE OF RUNNING|
|by TIM NOAKES,MD|
|w – walk||r – run|
|25-WEEK TRAINING SCHEDULE FOR A 10KM|
|Day||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6|
|Day||Week 7||Week 8||Week 9||Week 10||Week 11||Week 12|
|Day||Week 13||Week 14||Week 15||Week 16||Week 17||Week 18|
|Day||Week 19||Week 20||Week 21||Week 22||Week 23||Week 24|