Saturday, August 27, 2005

Two days running

This morning was the first time I've been out running on two consecutive days. It was also the first time that I haven't run faster than my previous outing. Coincidence? Probably not. I did see some other runners this morning who were in even less good shape than me. That's another first!

It's probably a good thing not to try to speed up on every outing. I really need to work on stamina first, and increase the run/walk ratio of my intervals. All the beginners guides stress the importance of building up slowly and gradually.

There's a lot of good advice out there for beginners:

1) Get some good running shoes from a good running shoe shop. I went to Sweatshop, where they certainly appear to know what they're talking about; they got me to run barefoot over a magic device that detects how your feet move, then I tried out the shoes on a treadmill (perspiring profusely!). I came away with a pair of Asics GT-2100s, and I'm very happy with them - they're probably half a size bigger than I would have chosen on my own, but this is definitely a good thing; they're very comfortable. They weren't particularly cheap, but you don't need to spend money on much else. The Forerunner can wait for a few months.

2) Walk for three or four weeks first. Dull, but important for building strength and avoiding injury when you start running.

3) Stretch before each run. Warm up with a few minutes walking. Cool down afterwards with a few more minutes walking. Stretch again at the end.

4) Don't try to build up too quickly. Start with running/walking intervals and build up gradually. Run at "talking pace" - not so fast that you couldn't hold a conversation. I'm not very good at doing this, and have a tendency to go too fast.

5) Make sure you take rest days - three or four days running a week is plenty to begin with.

6) If you're going out first thing in the morning - which is a great time to run - put all your kit out the night before. My brain usually wakes up about two minutes into the run, and I'm on autopilot while I'm getting up. The other day I found myself putting my walking boots on by mistake. The more you can do to simplify the process of getting out of the house, the better. I've even heard it suggested that you should sleep in your running gear!

7) If it hurts, stop until it doesn't.

8) Stick with it for a few weeks. I found it quite hard to begin with, but it gets easier fairly quickly and becomes very enjoyable. I wasn't hooked after a week of running - hence the hiatus while we were away on holiday - but I think I'm pretty much hooked now.


Blogger Matt Whyndham said...

All good advice, Phil. Best of luck with your running growth.

01 September, 2005 13:16  

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