When people find out I am a runner, they are often surprised. Not only because I am a powerful plus size woman, but because I am also pretty open about the fact that I suffer from chronic pain. The truth is, running is something that helps me cope with dealing with chronic pain and the depression that can sometimes accompany it. I was never a runner until a couple of years ago when I suddenly decided on a whim to sign up for a 5K. I have done several since then and they always make me feel so accomplished. I remember that I can’t give up. I feel great personal achievement. If you want to start becoming a runner, here are some tips to become a runner at any skill level.
Start with a C25K program- When I first started running, I used a C25K program. ‘C25K’ is an acronym for ‘Couch to 5K”. It’s easily found online in various forms and there are even some Facebook groups for it. Basically, C25K is a program to start building your stamina. It helps those that have never ran before prepare for their first 5K. If you feed off lots of support from a community, I highly recommend it.
Try Interval Training- Interval training helps you build your stamina. The idea is that you run/jog with walking/power walking in between. A typical interval I started with was 1 minute of fast with 1 ½ minutes of slow. I would choose a distance to go or an amount of time and do this the whole time. Eventually, I could go faster for longer.
Use Apps that Help You- There are some great apps out there to help you gain stamina or encourage you to run daily. Two of my favorite are available on Apple iPhones and they are called Spring and Runkeeper. Spring is a great one for interval training as that is what it is for. You basically pick your preferred music genres and artists and tell Spring how long you want to train and it will play snippets of songs for the duration of your intervals that meets your Beats Per Minute. It gets ‘smarter as you use it and plays music you enjoy. Runkeeper tracks your workouts via GPS and tells you as you go how far you have gone, your average pace as well as current pace with options to add calories burned. It will also give you reminders to get out there at a time you select.
Dress the Part- You definitely want to dress the part if you will be a runner. Stay away from 100% cotton such as t-shirts and sweats. You will want a wicking fabric because I can guarantee you will work up a sweat and you need a fabric that helps you keep going. I also like to wear compression gear because it helps with my swelling. (Rainbeau Curves has some amazing compression bottoms!)
Get Fitted for the Right Shoes- Don’t just pick any shoes and hit the pavement. You will want specific shoes for running because they will give you the proper support and bounce-back. If you can, I highly suggest getting fitted at a sports shoe store and to do it in the morning or after your workout when your feet are the most swollen. This will ensure proper fit.
Know It Will Be Hard for A While, But Don’t Give Up- I started running several times and gave in and quit several times. The time I stuck with it, I found that after 6 weeks or so, I was not longer as tired and wiped out as I was. It’s just a matter of keeping it up. You will build your fitness level over time.
I hope these running tips help you have the confidence to get out there and shine!
Read more by Christine here.