How I Started Running Regularly (A Failed Experiement)
I’ve always had a desire to be someone that loves running, and runs regularly. I love the idea that you can do it anywhere, without much more equipment than a pair of shoes (and even those are not technically needed). Unfortunately, it’s much easier to dream about being a runner than actually doing it. I’ve tried to start running regularly a few times in the past, but usually quit after the first or second day. So at the beginning of April (2012), I resolved to try again.
I used a program called “Couch to 5K”, which is a running program geared towards inexperienced runners (aka couch potatoes), with the goal of working up towards being able to run 5km. It is an interval training program, which means there are periods of running, followed by periods of walking, and repeat. The running intervals start out small (you only run for 30 seconds at a time during the first week), and gently increase each week until you are running the entire time.
I printed off a “VisualC25K” chart, and posted it on my bathroom door, so I would see it often. I got a free app for my iPhone that times your runs according to the C25K program, and has a voice that tells you when to run, and when to walk. I already had running shoes & workout clothes, so there wasn’t anything I needed to buy.
I followed the program as prescribed, and ran 3 times/week. Some days it was hard to get started, but once I left my house and started running, I usually enjoyed it. After a week or two, I started to look forward to my runs. Even when I was running, and the app told me to stop, sometimes I wanted to just keep going (this is why the program is good–if I did keep running I’d probably run out of energy too quickly).
The Last Day: Week 4, Day 2
That was the last day I ran. I ran 3 times/week (minus one sick day) for the entire month of April, which is more successful than my attempts in the past. In the end, I had to quit because I was getting knee pain. I’m not sure why, whether it’s my shoes, too much running on pavement, or something else, but I couldn’t run anymore. I tried to “run through” the pain a couple times, but realized that it’s probably a bad idea. (It would actually be fine most of the time when running, but only after would start hurting.)
I will ask my doctor about this, but I might just have to concede that running is not for me. Perhaps at some point in the future I will try again, but for now I will stick to biking, and might take up swimming for extra exercise. I feel like I gave it a fair shot, didn’t give up too quickly, and that’s that.