So here’s how I was taught to run in my 101 class. But I’d first like to start off by saying that even though you can do this all on your own it would be so much better to do it with others, whether you join a class or call up a couple of people to exercise with…its way more fun and you’re likely to keep it up.
So for the first couple of weeks begin with an easy interval walk/run and do this at least 3-4 days a week. The intervals will consist of 5 minute increments. Each increment will look like this: Walk for 41/2 minutes, then run for 30 seconds, and repeat this until you have completed 6 of them for a total of 30 minutes of exercise.
You can download an interval app onto your smartphone to help you with timing while listening to your favorite music or podcast as you go. It will ring or beep when it’s time for you to walk and when it’s time to run! Even when you get comfortable with 30 seconds of running and want to bump up your time DONT. Holding back will prove helpful in the future and I’ll explain why soon. Just be consistent with the 6 intervals, 3-4 days a week. If you’re feeling good then go for an extra interval or two but don’t run longer than 30 seconds. Allow your heart and lungs to slowly get used to what you are asking it to do! They are muscles after all and like any other muscle they need time to build up.
Most menopausal woman, due to hormone imbalances, will feel light headed now and again upon standing up or getting out of bed. The hormones that used to allow us to just spring up and start moving about aren’t there like they used to be. It’s like our blood flow is just a little slower and therefore our bodies cant quite catch up to what our heads are telling us to do. Building up incrementally helps strengthen our hearts and our blood flow and also help to expand our lungs as well.
After two or three weeks of 41/2 and 30, move into 4 and 1. And when you’re comfortable with that in another couple of weeks go for 31/2 and 11/2, and keep going there after until you hit the opposite of where you started, 41/2 minutes of running and 30 seconds of walking. By that time you should also be up to 10-12 intervals as well for an hours worth of exercise.
When you’re building up your exercise don’t feel too badly if one day you do REALLY well, but the next time out you’re not as savvy. If you have to slow down the pace, do it! Just slow down your pace and complete the amount of intervals or miles that your used to doing!
In the beginning, I couldn’t do 30 seconds of running without thinking that I was going to cough up a lung….I would wheeze and my heart felt like it was thumping and popping out of my chest. I couldn’t believe that aerobically I was in that bad of shape! But even though I doubted at times that I would get better at running much less lose weight and inches, I stayed with it and NEVER waivered. By the end of the 12 week class we were running about 4 miles, which was a little more than a 5k! And a couple of months after that I went out for my routine run/walk and the stars and moon must have been perfectly aligned because I didn’t stop running for 2 miles straight! IT WAS SOOO WEIRD, but it happened just like that!!
Now running is one thing, but running CORRECTLY is the true key to success and why I’m a big advocate for joining a beginner running class. You would have one teacher who is specifically watching your form as you run and will help you break bad habits early on.
Things you need to concentrate on while your running are:
1) making sure you strike the ground with the middle of your foot, (not your heel like when you walk)
2) relaxing your shoulders and keeping your arms down by your side, (as opposed to forming “Teradactyl Arms” in front of you)
3) keep your chin up to allow healthy breathing as you go
If you have read my Must Have Gear page then hopefully you took heed and have good shoes and socks that help your feet feel comfy and ultimately keep your hips and spine nicely aligned as you go.
Take a few minutes before and after a run even if you have walked most of the night of your muscles as rubber bands. Old unused bands are gummy and have hardly any flexibility, whereas a band that is gently and regularly used is the total opposite. Feels sooooo good to warm up your muscles too…more on this in the future!
Whew! That’s enough to get you started! You can go to my blog titled “An Ode to the New Year” and see one my personal results of consistent running 3 days a week. Please email me with any questions or concerns whatsoever, but for now…
Get up, get those running shoes on, and be on your way!!