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I started running (I mean ACTUALLY running, not just a quick lap around the kids field once in a blue moon) in 2012. I always thought of myself as a Phoebe runner. You remember the Friends episode “The One Where Phoebe Runs”? If so, you know what I mean, if not then check it out here to get a good idea. (First 15 seconds)
STEP 1 – Motivation
So what would give me the idea that I should run?? Well, as I have mentioned before, a big motivator is signing up for a non-refundable event. ADDED to this is telling all your friends you are doing it! In this case I signed up for the Tough Mudder – a 12 mile event that involved a lot of running. (I know, nothing like starting small!)
STEP 2 – Consider Orthotics
I discussed orthotics with my doctor. There is a bit craze surrounding barefoot running right now, and if it works for you GREAT! However, I was guessing that some of my running (read: flailing while moving) issues had to do with my feet.
I skipped the Dr. Scholl’s and went straight for custom orthotics. I immediately felt a difference and they were well worth the money for me.
STEP 3 – Start Running – even a little bit – consistently
I would drop my kids off at school at hit that seldom visited field track at least 3 times a week. I started with 2-3K and built it up to 5.
People often start with a particular timed Run/Walk combo. I personally tried to run for as long as I could before I had to walk. Caught my breath and started again. I was going to be doing 12 miles soon and had to push hard!
STEP 4 – Keep Running
Although the Mudder was 12 miles, the longest run was only 3 miles (5K), so I built myself up to 7K and worked improving my time and endurance. While this was good for this particular race, I plateaued and didn’t really push myself further. Which brings us to…
STEP 5 – Find a new motivation!
I signed up for a new race. I knew I could do 5K, so the natural progression seemed to be a 10K. A lot of people I know start with a big Vancouver race called the Sun Run. While I do aspire to run in that, I didn’t want my first 10K to be so big and daunting, so I signed up for a local 10K.
STEP 6 – Figure out your plan
Pull out a calendar and mark the race date on it. Count backwards, see how long you have to reach your goal, and make a plan to get yourself there. You can find many plans online that may match your allotted schedule – use them as is or modify them to match your needs. They are a great place to start!
STEP 7 – Don’t give up!
Most runners plateau at some point. They can’t imagine hitting that goal – 10K seems so far! But don’t give up. It IS doable. Or do what I did…set out on a 6K run day, realize you REALLY have to use the facilities and keep running until you find one…which was unfortunately 6K away from where I started. Which, if you have calculated…is 6K back as well, making it a 12K run! (I admit I walked the last 2 though)
I know that there are a ton of other tips to get to your first 10K, but these were the integral ones for me. I’m now training for my next 10K, and who knows…maybe a 1/2 marathon isn’t too far off in the future!