If you have followed my story for a while, you may remember when I first started running about 2 years ago.
I had NEVER, ever been a runner before. In fact, I would have full on asthma attacks when I would try to run. I just classified myself as a “non runner” and moved on. Then one day I just decided to try jogging a little. I would jog until I couldn’t jog anymore and then walk, then jog again. This would only be about 1-2 miles and I had to take lots of walking breaks. Eventually, I worked my way up to my very first 5k that happened on my 27th birthday.
My goal was to make 27 a year of running, and I did! I ran several 5k’s and even worked my way up to running a 10k that October. I loved my new found love of running!
Right after my 10k, I wanted to set another goal. I had my eyes on a half marathon, but I also really wanted to have a baby. I found out I was pregnant about 2 months later and I was excited to put my running goals on hold for a little while so that I could give my body up for this baby. Unfortunately, that wasn’t exactly how things panned out. We lost that baby, the week before Christmas, when I was 11 weeks pregnant. Now instead of a baby, I was left with an empty heart and zero desire to run.
I ran a little here and there, but my heart was not not in it. I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. I didn’t know if I wanted to be pregnant right away again, but I knew I would want to be pregnant again before I would have time to train for a half marathon. So I pretty much just gave up running all together.
I went through a pretty ugly case of depression that really prevented me from being active at all. In May, I found out I was pregnant again. I was excited and very nervous. I pretty much steered clear of exercise for my pregnancy, with the exception of a few 5k’s that happened last summer.
Once baby Zoey joined the world, I had the desire to start running again but to be honest I was totally freaked out about running again! It had been months since I had kind of sort of run the 5k’s and it had been about a year and a half since I ran seriously. It felt overwhelming to even know where to begin!
Thankfully, Dave had found a love of running and was willing to help me out. I seriously owe my progress to him! He has helped me so much with it all! I just ran 5 1/2 miles on Saturday and I felt great doing it!
The training process has been much different from the last time I ran. If you want to learn how to start running, here is what I recommend:
This is something that I did early on, but I would just run until I couldn’t run anymore. Walk. Then run again. I stopped doing that once I got in better shape. That is how I intended to run this time because I thought it hurt too much to run and stop over and over again. I tried running really slowly, without the walk breaks and it just about killed me. Dave was introduced to the Galloway Method of running and that totally changed the way he could run and he highly recommended I try it too. I have used the Galloway Method ever since! Basically it is just that you run, walk, run throughout your entire time. You will have set intervals of how long you walk and run, but you do that from beginning until the end. It helps prevent injuries, keeps you running close to the same pace the entire time, and it is easier to work up endurance.
I currently run for 1 minute and walk for 30 seconds. I use the IntervalTimer app on my phone that just alerts me throughout my entire run when 1 minute is up and when 30 seconds is up. This keeps me on my intervals, without constantly having to watch a clock to time them myself. What has been interesting is that my overall pace for my runs really isn’t much slower with the intervals than it was when I would run the entire time. I am still working my way back up to where my endurance level was before, but it really isn’t that far off. Because I am giving my body a little rest with my walk breaks, I am able to run faster when I am actually running instead of jogging super slowly the entire time.
New shoes and custom insoles:
So here’s a funny story… When I started running again after having Zoey, it HURT! I never had knee pain before, but running was killing my knees. Dave kept telling me that I needed to get new shoes, but me being the cheapo that I am, wouldn’t make the investment. I thought my shoes were perfectly fine. Then one day I went for a run and by the time I got done, I could barely walk. My knees were in a horrible way! I did a little internet research and discovered that I had “runner’s knee” in both knees. After reading more about it, I realized that I needed new shoes!
This may seem pretty obvious to some people, but what I hadn’t thought about was the fact that I had just pushed a freaking child out of my body! In fact, I pushed for 3 hours! My hips were in no way the same as they were before having my second child. They had shifted and when I was running on my old shoes, they weren’t giving the support that they used to give because they had molded to how my body used to be before having my second child. Once I realized that, it all made sense to me and I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t thought of that before.
So I went to Fleet Feet and made a very grown up purchase. I got new running shoes and custom insoles for them. I am not going to lie to you, it was a little painful when I saw the grand total was just under $200. But going to an actual running store and having them watch how I walked in each pair of shoes and then having them find custom insoles for my insanely high arches has helped me so much and has been worth every last stinking penny.
I have had a lot of questions about what shoes I got and they are the New Balance 880v7. I really love that they have a lot of cushion, so my feet feel like they have stability and they also support my arch well. I do really recommend getting the custom insoles as well, but those are something that you would need to go to a running store and have them help you find the right ones for you.
Set a goal and make a plan:
Like I said, I would be nowhere if it wasn’t for my organized husband helping me with this running journey! I knew I wanted to run a 10k again, but the thoughts of training for it totally freaked me out! He has helped me create a training plan that has helped me SO much! I highly recommend doing this. At first, I just went for 3 runs a week that were about 30 minutes long. If this is too long, don’t run as long, or have your walk breaks be longer than 30 seconds. I started with the three runs a week at 30 minutes so that I could just create a base.
Once I started getting a little more confident, I decided to set a goal for a 10k. Then I simply just counted how many weeks there were until the 10k and did the math to see how much I needed to work up to that point. At the time, I was running about 3 miles as my furthest and I knew I needed to get up to 6 miles, so I just figured out how much further I would need to run each week in order to get up to that point. I am still running 3 times a week. I run 30 minute runs for 2 of the runs and then I have one long run each week. By the time I run my 10k, I will have already done a 6 mile run the week before that when I do my long run.
Fuel your body:
I think one thing people forget about when they start running is that they need to fuel their body in order for it to perform. If you are dieting and starving yourself, your body isn’t going to perform as well as if it had more food. Instead of worrying about how many calories are in something, try to focus on eating whole foods. I would say that my diet consists of about 75-80% whole foods. It has taken a lot of work to get to this point, but I have noticed a huge difference with my running when I eat well and eat enough. This is especially important for mothers who are breastfeeding. If you aren’t eating enough, you not only won’t have enough energy to run but you also won’t have enough nutrients in your body to produce breast milk. It is so important not to starve yourself!
One thing I really love fueling my body with is Nuzest Protein powder. There are a lot of protein powders out there that are full of junk and I really appreciate that Nuzest protein is clean! It is great for when I don’t have time to prepare something to eat. My favorite is the chocolate protein powder. I mix it with almond milk or coconut water, a banana or strawberries, and ice! It’s delicious and filling! Nuzest also has an awesome coupon code for my readers! You can get 15% off when you use the code, glam15 at checkout!
Choose your focus:
Focusing is kind of a broad topic, but it is really important when you are running. The first focus that I want to talk about is focusing on your goals. This doesn’t mean that you need to push yourself to hard though. Instead of focusing on running a certain distance, try focusing on running for a certain amount of time. It is more important to track time on your feet and less important to track distance. So focus on working to run for a certain time frame. Another focusing tip would be to focus while running. Focus mentally and literally. When I am doing my running intervals, I literally focus on one thing ahead of me and stare at it until I run to it, or until my interval is done. I have gotten pretty good at guessing where I will run to with each interval and it has kind of become a game for me. When I focus on one thing, I find that my running intervals go by a lot faster when I am focusing on something to run towards. When I run, I also try to focus mentally. I don’t like to really think about running while I am running! I usually like to think about something that I want to focus on during my run and I think about that thing during my entire run. Sometimes it is business related, a problem that needs to be solved, or how I can be a better mom. There are few times that I get that uninterrupted time to just think, so I take full advantage of that during my runs.
Find something good to listen to:
Personally, I am music listener when I run. I love finding great songs that have perfect running tempos. My running playlist is quite eclectic and is full of everything from gangster rap to movie soundtracks. I know that a lot of people enjoy running to podcasts. I haven’t ever tried running to a podcast because music motivates me so much, but I am sure it is really nice to run to a motivational podcast as well! No matter what it is, if it is something that helps motivate you, listen to it!
What it all boils down to is, GET OUT AND RUN! Listen to your body, stay focused, and don’t get discouraged. If you stay consistent, it will get easier and you (yes YOU!) can be come a runner!