Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2007-07-15

Beginner's guide to running, part 3

So, I've given you a few days to get your priorities straight and your gear in place, but now we're off. Your first run. Well, you might have been out on a run before, but if you're following the beginner's guide, I guess you've previously just tried running. And failed. So, how do you prepare for your first run? First of all, there are expectations. Then there are expectations. And then it's how you forfill those. So have reasonable expectations. You're no Paula Radcliffe.

Running is hard. When I first started, I was in fair condition since I'd been using inlines most of the time for many months. But I wasn't in running conditions. So prepare for feeling completely taken by surprise if it feels terrible. Then, the first 15 mins are terrible. For me it lasted the first five years, having the first 15 mins feeling terrible. Awful. So prepare for that. It's like your body says: hey, you're no runner. Stop at once. But after about 15 minutes the body seems to remember that it's kind of nice. And when you past the 1h rule, then the endorfines kicks in and you get to experience Runner's high. But that is in the future for you. Now you have to get past those terrible first 15 minutes.

Then there is the Stitch. If you experience that, remember to warm up your mid section before running. Do 40 situps and an inhalation exercise: inhale and hold your breath for 30 secs. Repete 10 times. This is a good exercise for you leaving your home and heading for the run. I had to do this the first two years of my running. Now I hardly experience the stitch so I don't warm up any more. But when I do I use a stitch rock. This is a small, pointy rock which I keep in the opposite hand from which I feel the stitch. If I feel the stitch in both sides, two rocks are used. The best stitch rock fits good in your hand so when you close the hand the pointy head goes into your palm. The small pain from this is enough to make your stupid body forget about the stitch. Another tip about the stitch is don't eat within 1,5 hours before your run. And if you drink, have a small water belt and drink just sips at the time. Not even a mouthful.

What about running then? Well decide that you're going to be out 30 minutes. Then you run and walk until you've been out for 30 minutes. Keep a record of how much you ran and how much you walked. It may take a while, but sooner or later you will be able to run for 30 minutes. Hurray, you're a runner.

After your exercise, don't forget about refueling. About 1l water and a banana or a sandwich. And remember to refuel before your shower. The sooner the better. And don't forget to stretch. I'll probably discuss that more during my next entry.

And off you are to a brave new world.

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