As I was mentally getting ready for my run this morning, I couldn’t help but to get nervous. It felt like I was getting ready to compete, although I’ve never competed before.
I love running, but running does not like me. My pace sucks, and I always end up getting hurt somehow. Am I too hard on myself? Some might say so, but I like excel at everything I do. I came to the conclusion that my ordeal is due to the fact that when I started running last year, I did not know what I was doing. I took off thinking I had to run as fast as I could and also as far as possible. I did too much too soon. I am that girl struggling in the streets and hating on those runners breezing past me like running requires no effort. Yeah, that is me, lol!
After struggling for a while, I decided enough was enough and started a running plan to help build my endurance and help me pick up my pace without killing myself. This brings us to the purpose of my post today. This week is my 7th week on the plan (if I recall properly). I am so glad, I decided to cut back, and start over with the basics.
As the weeks progress the plan pushes me to do more and go past my comfort level. Hard thing to do for me. At first it was very annoying. I got accustomed to running at least 3 miles. I even worked my way up to 5 miles. But I like I mentioned before, I sucked at it. I was always in pain. I did more walking than running. It just wasn’t working for me. The plan had me start with 10 mins Run-walk with 1 min intervals each. It was slow, it was short, but I told my self to stick to it. I did! Sometimes I skipped unfortunately, either due to bad weather or just plain laziness. Overall, I did not quit. Best thing, I’m still going strong and getting better.
This morning I was determined to push more and go further. The plan called for 20 mins Run-Walk with intervals of 2:30 mins run and 1 min walk. That’s what made me so nervous. I knew it would require more energy and more focus. My body was just getting used to the 2:1 intervals. As I prepared for the challenge, I added one energy tablet (Nuun Energy) to my water to make sure I could keep up. I also did my dynamic stretch, and I went. A challenge it was, but I did it. I was able to beat my previous PR with an average pace of 11:18/mile and covered 1.8 miles. My last run before this, I covered 1.73 mile with an average pace of 11:42/mile. That’s 24 seconds less. It might not seem like much, but in running world, that’s awesome. On one of my post “Any progress is good progress” I spoke about that: it really doesn’t matter what people think or how slow you think it is as long you are doing better than you did previously , that’s all that matters.
At the end of the day, if running is a sport you are planning on getting into, make sure you are prepared. It’s not just about the clothes and good running shoes, a running plan is equally important. The plan will gradually help you reach your goal. It will help you pace yourself and keep from injuries. You don’t want to do too much too soon like I did. You want to slowly build the miles and build your endurance. You want to do it right.
Learn from my mistakes and invest in a running plan. They are not pricey. I use the Runkeeper app, which I think is super awesome. I upgraded to the pro version to be able to get the coaching plans. As of now, I am very satisfied with my progress. You don’t necessarily have to use the same as me. There are several running plans out there. You can use Nike, Couch to 5k, Mapmyfitness, that’s just to name a few. At the end of the day, whichever program you chose, make sure to stick to it and it will pay off.