First things first. Last year I read Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall and well, it’s predictable to say “This book changed my life” but yeah, it kind of did.
I was already a runner when I read the book, but this book changed things in my mind. I’m not going to try to summarize, because Christopher himself does that in this TED Talk:
McDougall’s main point is that humans are born to run. We are natural runners and running is the one thing we can do that keeps us strong, healthy, happy, balanced and peaceful.
I often come across people who say things like “Running is boring” “Running is bad for your joints” and “I could NEVER run!”. YOU, my dear doubters, you are the ones who need to listen to that TED Talk and then read the book!
We are runners. We are runners. We are runners. Old people, young people, nursing mothers, children. We are all runners.
End of ranting section.
How to start running? There are TONS of free (and not free) running plans on the internet. Here are my faves:
HalHigdon.com has loads of training programs for every distance and every level of runner. This is the plan I have always used.
RunnersWorld.com has training plans (mostly for a fee I think) and TONS of running info, nutrition info, and inspiration!
So here’s what you do:
1. Look at the different plans and choose the one that looks like it suits you.
2. Decide how far out from your event you need to begin your training.
3. If there is a baseline level you need to reach first, then get started on that.
4. PLUG THE TRAINING RUNS INTO YOUR CALENDAR! Why am I yelling? Because you don’t want to just wing this or it won’t get done. If you wake up on a dark Wednesday morning and your running schedule has not been previously decided upon, you will negotiate with yourself and you won’t do it. Trust me and read my blog post, Non-Negotiable, for more on the subject.
5. If you find yourself getting injuries, aches and pains, you probably want to work with a running coach. You might be making mistakes with your stride or have an alignment issue. You also might want to learn to run barefoot! Yes, I said that. Again, you’ve got to read Born to Run to be convinced of the evil that is modern running shoes. The minimalist and barefoot running movement is in full swing, even here in Israel! I even saw a couple of barefoot runners running the Tel Aviv Marathon! Yup, totally barefoot for 42km.
Yesterday I went to Wertheimer’s in Herzliya to try on Vibram 5 Fingers for myself. I could have paid 570 nis at Wertheimers but instead I ordered them from RoadRunnerSports with my VIP discount for $80 and will pick them up in the US when visiting my folks next week. I got the Bikilas, yay! I’ll keep you posted on how it goes with the Vibrams of course.
6. If you’re a group-type person, find a runner’s club in your community and join. You’ll get company, advice, coaching, accountability and fun to keep you going!
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