Are you just starting your fitness journey, or even maybe already on your journey, but want to get more into running? When I first started working out I was starting at ground 0. I began my journey in January 2013 when I wanted to get in shape for my wedding. I used to be very active in high school, but lost all the motivation to workout when I was in college due to such a busy schedule between school and work.
I started off with doing my workouts at the gym and would randomly find things to do. I realized though, that if I really wanted to lose some serious weight (that I needed to shred) I would have to increase my cardio intensity. My husband (fiance at the time) started to push me and we would run outdoors. He would run in front of me and encourage me to run but all I wanted to do was quit after 2 minutes of running. So, I decided that I would change what I was doing at the gym and work towards increasing my running endurance. I started by combining the exercises I was good at, to improve my running stamina.
For example, I would do 15 minutes on the elliptical first. The elliptical is a great starting place because you are working your legs, but you have assistance from your arms to not get tired as quickly. After the elliptical, I would go another 15 minutes on the bike. In this case, all of my strength was being channelled from my legs, but without the weight of standing up so it helped my legs get stronger. After this, I would go 10 minutes on the treadmill. I would start at a slow pace then slowly get to a jogging pace where I felt comfortable. I did this over and over at least 3 times per week. Eventually my leg strength and stamina was strong enough to change the rotations: 10 min elliptical, 10 min bike, 20 min run. Then after that felt comfortable, I dropped the bike and did 5 min elliptical and 30 minute run.
As I got more comfortable on the treadmill, I started setting small goals. I would jog for 3 minutes, then run for another 3, then go back to a slower pace to jog, then go back up, etc. This is what helped me also not feel overwhelmed with being on the treadmill so long and it started to feel like a game with myself. There is also an app which I know has helped many people get into running which is the couch to 5k app. After I started getting more comfortable with running and working out overall, my husband and I decided to start signing up for races which continued to reinforce and push my running skills. 5k’s are such a fun way to push yourself and have a final race goal in mind. Once you get more comfortable with your running skills, running outside to leave the monotony of the treadmill will for sure inspire you to push harder on your run and even want to be outside longer.
Any way you do it, getting into running is life-changing! There really is such thing as a “runner’s high” where it is just you and the path in front of you, with your sick playlist and endorphins running through your body. I encourage you to get into it and push your mind and body to complete a 5k!
Currently, I am working on improving my speed. I am working on small sprint intervals, as well as adding in some hills so I can work against the incline and help my speed.
What tactics have you used to either get into running, or improve your speed? I would love to learn more about your running journey!