Starting a running program, especially for the “over 40″ crowd, can be daunting. Actually, it can be downright painful. We have a mile-long list of things to do and little time to complete it. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to find the time.
Below are five tips that may help you on your way to better health.
1. See your doctor. I know, I know. I don’t like seeing doctors, either. But let’s face it, we all know people who didn’t make it past their mid-40′s. Running stresses your body. Your heart has to pump harder, your joints take a pounding and your lungs often feel like they are going to explode. A quick trip to see the doc can let you know if there are any risks you should consider before starting an exercise program. Think Jim Fixx.
2. Find a good pair of running shoes. Barefoot running is becoming popular. If that interests you, contact Chris Dunst on this web site. He will gladly offer his opinion and guidance to get your started down that path. For the rest of us, we rely on a good pair of running shoes. Many running stores can help you determine which shoe is best for you. They can perform a gait analysis, usually for free, to help you narrow your shoe choices. The wrong shoes can cause pain, discomfort and injury, so it is a good idea to do your research.
3. Pick a running program. You can create your own or browse this site to find good beginner programs. By this, I mean a program that will get you off the sofa and onto the road, trail or treadmill. Start slowly. The goal is to change your lifestyle to include a healthy running program. Going out on your first day, running as hard as you can for a few miles, and then nursing sore muscles and joints for the next week will not accomplish this goal. Don’t be afraid to start off walking, or mixing short runs in between periods of walking. Build slowly, but build. In a few weeks, you will start to feel that “high” runners talk about.
4. Pick a time and keep to it. Running is not just for you. Remember, you want to be around to see your kids grow up. Don’t feel guilty about setting aside 30 minutes per day, three to four days per week. I prefer evenings, because it helps me unwind. Also, I cannot drag myself out of bed, throw on a pair of shoes, and run before I’ve knocked off three cups of coffee in the morning, and by that time, I am usually on my way to work. You don’t have to run every day, but shoot for a minimum of three days per week.
5. Find a motivation. This one is up to you. My motivation for getting off the couch and running is my 7-year-old daughter. My “keep running” motivation during a longer run is a mental image of my elementary school PE teacher screaming “run, you stupid loser!” from the back of a van during our annual 6th grade 10K. And when I really need to dig deep, I picture the grim reaper on horseback, rumbling down the street behind me. So far, I’ve beaten him every time.
About Ken Storen
Ken is the proudest father of the greatest little 7 year old on the planet. In order to keep up with her infinite energy, he likes to take long, slow jogs. It is the only way he can remain in shape to play hour after hour of ”Catch the Cheetah”. He also did and does a lot of other stuff.