Most of my life, I was the girl who did anything she could to avoid running.
It’s almost always over 80 degrees in South Florida so running outside can be tricky and running on a treadmill can be pretty terrible so I did what any logical person would do and just avoided running, for like 29 years.
After having my daughter in 2012, I decided I wanted to run and not just dabble in running but I jumped right into it and signed up for the Miami Half Marathon. I was about 8 months postpartum and the longest distance I had ever run without stopping was probably down the street. I had about 8 months to get ready for the half marathon and wanted to make sure I took it slow.
I downloaded a Couch to 5k program and read everything I could about getting started on running. I signed up for a charity 5K race near my house for a week after I planned on finishing the training program to both motivate me and celebrate the accomplishment.
The app I used was Get Running and it was amazing. 3 days of running, easy to use, inexpensive, integrated well with my music and the lady’s voice was pleasant. Like most programs you start with 30 second intervals and by the end of the 9 weeks, you are running 30 minutes straight. I stayed dedicated to the program and felt so proud after completing each week.
At this point, I wasn’t running for speed just trying not to stop. About 8 weeks after starting on my running journey I ran my first 5K without stopping and just like that, got totally addicted. At this point, I had already signed up for a half marathon and had about 4 months to prepare. I downloaded a half marathon training plan (or let’s be honest, like 10 plans) and figured out a training schedule that worked best for me.
I ran 3-4 days a week and slowly built up my mileage each week. Most long distance training plans have you run a few shorter distance days (easy run, speed work, tempo runs) and one distance day where you slowly build on your endurance and mileage.
After finishing the Miami Half Marathon, I continued to run and have since completed a handful of 5K’s, 10K’s, half marathons and ran the New York City Marathon in November 2016. I’m not fast by any means but am so proud of my running accomplishments and the fact that I was able to run for 26.1 miles without stopping once!
My tips to anyone starting out would be, set a goal, make a plan and build very slowly. The worst thing you can do is get out there and push your body and get injured. Just because your body can get out there and run x number of miles, it doesn’t mean you should or that your body is ready for it. It also helps to get the proper running gear and most importantly, proper running shoes. There are running stores that will fit you properly for running shoes which makes a world of a difference. I always go up a full size in my running sneakers and only use them for running. I also think running accessories make the entire process easier and add a little fun to the entire training process.
Here are a few of my running essentials.
I hope this helps if you are just getting started!