The truth about becoming a runner through my eyes
Saturday, April 04, 2015
I am a 49 year old female who is currently 216 pounds, 76 pounds from goal weight. This is my third attempt to become a regular runner. Running is how I lost a significant amount of weight several years ago, but when I stopped, the weight came back-no surprise, right? Well, the second time, life again got in the way. Here it is, my third attempt and something has changed-my outlook. Running, and other exercise, is now a priority. I read an article that said exercise must be as important as a doctor's appointment or work commitment. It changed the way I look at it. Anyway, back to my original point.
1) Running is HARD! There is no easy way to become a runner. When I first started each time, even 1 minute seemed undoable. I would be 30 seconds in, thinking I was going to drop! I didn't. I repeated training days quite often, which brings me to my next point.
2) Do not think you will effortlessly be running 30 minutes or 3 miles in 12 weeks. This is a fallacy that many are lead to believe. Most of us here on Sparkpeople are over weight, and because of this, our bodies take longer to adjust and it is harder to move 200 or 300 pounds down the road. Our knees and other joints take longer to get used to it. My knees hurt for the first 3 to 4 weeks, not so much so that I couldn't function, but they knew I was being quite mean to them. I have been running since August, with a short break in December, and have just now gotten to the 3 mile mark (which is still difficult). The good part is that my weight is down over 20 pounds.
3) Treadmill running IS different from outdoor running, even with the incline. Two of my attempts at becoming a regular runner involved using a treadmill to start. When I tried to switch to outdoor running, it felt like I had never run a day in my life. This was quite discouraging to me. I started going to the nearest trail and felt good beginning there. The people I saw along the way either said nothing or were very encouraging. Just remember, what others think of you doesn't matter. Also, when you keep running and start shrinking, those same people will see the progress you are making and admire you.
4) Make sure you set the Nutrition Tracker to add the extra calories you are burning to your daily intake. Running not only burns a lot of calories while you are doing it, you continue to burn more during recovery. Your body will start telling you it is low on fuel. You need to feed the body if you expect it to keep running. I am losing 1 to 1 and a half pounds most weeks. Slow and steady does win the race-literally!
5)Last, but not least-DO NOT be discouraged when the fitness tracker tells you that you are walking because you are going less that 5 miles per hour. I started running at a 15+ minute pace and was very hurt that it said I was walking, not running. Even now, at 13 to 14 minute miles, it says I am walking. I have learned to ignore it. I know I am running and so does my body. Every person that sees me, knows that I am running.
It will happen. All the runners in the world started with small distances. For some, it was easier. I am ok with the fact that this is taking time. I have the rest of my life to continue improving at running. From the moment you run your first 1 minute interval, you are a runner. Rejoice in that!