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How I Hope To Become a Runner

2013 January 22

Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 3.19.38 PM

I hate to run.

We had this seven-minute run thing in high school every year and I always walked. I look at people who run and make it look effortless and relaxing and I secretly hate them. I have brand new Nikes I have never worn.

I have dabbled with running over the years since my post 25-year-old body started to show its true curves…I mean, colors. I would go to a gym, crank up my iPod and try to lose myself in the rhythm of the treadmill but without fail, after a few weeks, I quit.

I just hated running.

Well it’s time to change those colors (and hopefully curves) a little bit. I have been really dedicated to my The Dailey Method regime lately, aiming to go 3-4 times per week and usually making it there. Which is great. But while I am building strength and muscle tone in places I haven’t seen it for a very long time, I am not seeing some of the bulges I want to lose going away as quickly as I had hoped.

So it was time to stop hating and start running.

I had downloaded this app, C25K, months ago. It’s an interval running program that promises to get you off the couch and running 5k (or about 30 minutes) within nine weeks. It prompts you throughout your run to go from walking to running in pre-determined intervals and gives you a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down period,  playing over your music and interrupting in a soft, mellow tone (“begin running now”). Then increases your intervals with each run. And I have pulled out the iPod and dusted it off.

I don’t think I will ever be one of those runners that make it look effortless. It takes a lot of effort for me to figure out my breathing and my shin pains and which songs can actually get me through a session.

But for now, I am going to commit myself to trying to become one of those runners who can do it twice per week to supplement my other workout.

Who can lose herself on that treadmill.

Who can hit that seven-minute mark.

Wish me luck. I will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Are you a runner? If so, any tips?

*photo above via here*


24 Responses leave one →
  1. Mary Hayes permalink
    January 22, 2013

    I basically WAS you-hot yoga? Sure. Barre method? Love it. But running eluded me. Then one day my husband started that Couch to 5k thing and I started it with him. He quit, I was hooked. I ran my first half marathon 5 months later and am running two in April. Lately, I’ve read a lot about how shorter intervals are best for calorie burning anyways, so this April will be the end of my distance running career, but I just wanted you to know that the C25K program is an amazing stepping stone, if you stick with it you’ll definitely become a “runner.”

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 22, 2013

      SO good to know! Did you follow it precisely – i.e. several times a week, religiously?

  2. January 22, 2013

    Get outside if you can. The treadmill is so painfully boring. I run long distances outside on the weekend, but can only drag myself to do 20 min on the treadmill during the week. And if you can find a running buddy, even better. I’ve been running with a friend for over 10 years now and the social aspect is probably what keeps me going.

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 22, 2013

      I have heard the same, but the outdoor thing feels so much rougher on my body…or is it psychological? And yes, a running buddy would be great. Once I can stop walking half the time 😉

  3. January 22, 2013

    ha! my work built that app and created the C25k program;) the best tips i have are to mix up your scenery and run somewhere with a nice view… the ocean or even a new neighborhood so that you have interesting things to look at to keep you entertained. i burn out on the treadmill and indoor workouts because they just get boring after a while. i run at mission bay and i love it there because they have mileage marked off and the scenery is gorgeous or i run down cowles mountain (not up!!) i know those spots aren’t close to you but i’m sure there’s something similar by you! for me, it’s just a good excuse to spend some time outside. GOOD LUCK!

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 22, 2013

      Get out, that’s the coolest! Will let you know how it goes! xx

  4. holly permalink
    January 22, 2013

    Start small-trying to run 15 mins straight when you dont enjoy it will just exhaust you!

    The Jeff Galloway method is really good (walk for 2 mins, run for 1 minute) helps you build up endurance (he has a book called “Running-getting started”) that will explain this.
    And dont run fast at first-just go at a slow pace, he even says you shouldnt be breathless. Start like 2x week and walk/run for 20 or 30 mins.
    You will build up endurance fast and you will feel stronger. Then you can add on speed, time, distance whatever. Also a great ipod playlist helps. 🙂
    I prefer running outside and alone but everyone is different-if you do treadmill the fun thing is you can adjust the incline and such.
    If you start slow, you will notice the gains in weeks then you will want to do more-or check out the app “couch to 5K” which is a good beginners start.
    Oh and a new pair of running shoes is a good motivator! (go to a running store though, good shoes make a big difference!)

    • lhh permalink
      January 22, 2013

      I agree with Holly on the Galloway method. Galloway has running groups all over the country, they typically meet once a week and the mileage increases every week. When I did it my friend and I always treated ourselves to breakfast tacos after!

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 22, 2013

      Yes, starting on C25K but good to know about Galloway as well – thanks!

  5. January 22, 2013

    I also yearn to be one of those runners …. but it has always felt like a giant leap from where I was. So I started powerwalking – and you know what? I’ve managed to do it 3 x a week religiously since I started 2 and a half years ago. And while I haven’t necessarily dropped any weight, I certainly have toned up significantly in the thingh and posterior area. I figure it’s MUCH more forgiving on the joints and knees and it gets me outdoors, breathing. I walk fast enough to get my heart rate up and I love it – and that’s what has helped me committ to it. And no expensive gym membership needed, bonus!

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 22, 2013

      Love that, Amanda. Finding something you can commit to is key, which is why I have loved my Dailey Method workout. Let’s see if I can do it again 😉

  6. Andrea S. permalink
    January 22, 2013

    Good For You! I was going to grad school part-time while working full-time for three years. When I graduated, and was back to just working, I guess I needed something to fill up my new found free time 🙂 I started running. Like the program you found, I started interval training for a 5k. 9 weeks is very reasonable. You are on the right path! INTERVALS ARE GREAT! I gradually increased my distance and eventually trained for and ran a half marathon, all while using intervals. They help prevent injury. Gradually increasing distance helps prevent injury as well, even getting to a 5k. When training for the half marathon, I increased my distance only about 1.5 to 2 miles every two weeks. During the 17 weeks of training and the race, I never had any issues.


  7. Stephanie permalink
    January 22, 2013

    The right shoes are so important! Go to a running store and have them watch you run, they will be able to recommend a shoe based on your run. I have always loved running, but then had some issues with my feet falling asleep and also shin pain. I went to Road Runner Sports years ago and have worn the same two models of shoes since! I have completed three half marathons and one full marathon! Also, music is so key for me.

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 22, 2013

      Yes, that’s what I keep hearing. It’s on my to-do list, for sure. And totally agree about music — would love to hear your favorite tunes to run to!

  8. January 22, 2013

    Yes, definitely go to Road Runner! They helped me get the perfect shoes for both the distance I was running and my various foot problems- pronation, high arches, etc.

    I have flirted with the idea of a half marathon many times and never done it. I tend to get to the 4 or 5 mile mark and that’s where my body wants to stop. But I do really enjoy running a few times a week, just easy 3-4 mile runs, on off days from yoga or Crossfit. I actually don’t mind the treadmill, though- I breathe more easily indoors for some reason plus I get to catch up on trashy TV like The Kardashians that I only let myself watch at the gym. Good luck! I have friends who swear by the Galloway method. And my husband has found some good running mixes just by going on Mog (or spotify or whatever you use) and doing searches for “running mix.”

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 23, 2013

      Thanks mama! Road Runner is definitely on my list of stops for the weekend…I am sure I will be a tough nut for them to crack 😉

  9. January 22, 2013

    downloading app now….running is not my jam either….as much as I want it to be.

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 23, 2013

      I know, me neither! Let me know what you think!

  10. January 23, 2013

    Raluca, except for the half marathon I’m running this weekend this is how I’ve run every single run I’ve done. Run. Walk. Run. Walk, at set intervals, gradually spending more time running and less time walking and adding distance. I used to be that girl. Exactly the same girl who hated that running thing you had to do in high school. I had to do that too and never, ever ran. I’m kind of burnt out on running long distance at the moment because I’ve been training way too much on the treadmill and one day every weekend, for the past twelve weeks has been consumed by a long run, but now a three mile run seems like a piece of cake 🙂

    I agree with Erin and Stephanie that you should get your run evaluated at road runner. The right shoe makes the biggest difference.

    So excited for you!

  11. January 23, 2013

    Oh god did I hate running at school! Doing laps, I was the kid that was so far behind people thought I was first. And when one of my friends in the village persuaded me to go running with her I thought I was going to die. But…here’s the thing … after a year and a half I’m actually decent at it. I can run 5-6 miles no problem and actually feel good. The first 20 minutes are the worst – if you can just get past this then you’ll survive and eventually you’ll like it. Just believe in yourself and keep on doing it. Best of luck!

  12. January 25, 2013

    I have three tips which work for me. I couldn’t run for a bus and then within a year I ran a half marathon.
    1. never ever walk. Just keep running and when you can’t run anymore go home. This will only be about 5 minutes at first but it’ll get longer quickly. The thing with walking in intervals is that it trains you to think it’s ok to walk and then you’ll never keep pushing yourself because you always have that back out.
    2. Learn how to run at walking pace. This is the key to number 1. When you realise you can run ridiculously slowly you will never stop and never walk.
    3. Learn where your threshold is. I hate the first 1.67 miles. It’s always exactly the same. Once I get past that I start flying and could run forever. But every single time I’m swearing for that first 15 minutes. But if you know that by 1.68 miles you’ll be enjoying it, it’s easy to keep going.
    Hope that helps!
    Annie xx

    • WWGD permalink*
      January 25, 2013

      Ooh, good stuff here Annie! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Belle permalink
    January 28, 2013

    Ok, you know I run. I haven’t always been a runner. I started late in life. I was always known as the least athletic person in my group of friends. When I lived in NYC I always envied all the runners in Central Park, my best Ellen friend included. Then one day, and of course a month before I move to LA, I decided to run a mile around The Resevoir with Ellen. Ellen is built like a runner, lean and fast. I know I will never be as fast as her, but because of that first run with her when I was 28, I have been doing so for the last 13 years. And most of those years in Southern California. You live in a great place to run outside. The 50 degree weather in the winter is much more appealing than the 16 degrees I’m experiencing on my visit to NJ right now. The Couch to 5k is a great program. The right shoes, the right running partner, and the right race. Yes, race. I have always motivated myself to run by signing up first for a 5k and working towards that. Run, walk, run-walk. At least it’s a quantifiable goal. Start there and work towards other races. After the 5k became less challenging I worked towards 10ks and triathlons and now half marathons. My most memorable race was doing a triathlon four months after havng C. I wasn’t fast, but I did it. I ran my fourth half marathon last wknd with Ellen and I’m doing another one this Sunday. There are days where I really hate pounding the pavement, but I believe the race goals I set for myself is something my kids can be proud of. And I love high giving them as I cross the finish line. When are you gonna join a race with me?

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