So how do you train? Run! If you're really new to running, start out slow and don't pay attention to distance, just pay attention to how long you run. Gradually increase how long you run until you can run for an hour without stopping. A 5K is a little over 3 miles long. If you're running for an hour, you should be running 3 miles for more. A 10K is a little over 6 miles long. Back in the day when I was at my best, I could run a 10K in an hour. Right now I can run about 4 miles in an hour, but I'll just keep gradually increasing my speed and distance until I back to running a 10K in an hour. It's all about line upon line, precept upon precept, if you know what I mean.
Also, make sure to stretch. I always stretch before a run, but I recently read something from another running blog that says to do things a bit different:
- Stretching before running may actually be bad for you. It may lead to injury.
- It is better to warm up slowly (e.g. by starting out walking) than to stretch before you run.
- Stretching after five minutes of easy running is more advisable than stretching before running.
- Stretching after you run is always a good thing.
- Doing stretching as a standalone activity (e.g. taking up Yoga) can be extremely beneficial to runners.
I always start a run by walking, but I think I might save stretching until after I've warmed up a bit like this suggests. I always stretch after running to help minimize soreness later. If you do stretch after a run, I suggest waiting until your breathing is back to normal. Also, be sure to drink some water before and after a run. As Jane Fonda once taught me, "Dehydrated muscles don't work very well."
For most life situations, we tend to think a lot about decisions before we make them. When it comes to running, don't do that. It works best for me to say, "Don't think, just do it." So I challenge you not to think, just sign up for a race and start training. Sometimes thinking leads us down roads of doubt about our own abilities and that's not what we need right now. I'm a big fan of thinking, I think more people should do it, but not in this case. For you locals, you've got roughly 3 weeks before the Rexburg Teton Dam Marthon and 4 weeks before the Scenic River Classic in Idaho Falls. You Can Do It! If you're not from around here, just google marathons in your area and pick one!
Whose with me?! Now, if you won't scare anyone nearby, give me a warrior cry and then just run out of the room as if you're going to start training right now. AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!