Thursday, October 24, 2013

Intro to Running

A Facebook friend asked for some advice on starting to jog. She said she had run for 12-15 minutes and that she had pain in her legs. Below is my reply.

Different people will have different advice. Ask around for the information that best suits your success.

1. Definitely make sure your doctor is okay with you jogging.

He/she may attempt to talk you into another form of exercise, which you can follow. But if it is their preference and not due to your actual physical issue, do the type of exercise you feel like doing. 
The concern you want to eliminate is blood clots. I don't know what TYPE of pain you may be feeling. If it's muscles, then outlasting the pain is the trick. But you should make sure your blood is flowing correctly, and you are not risking dislodging a clot.

My personal way of handling a doctor's suggestion is to appreciate his or her opinion, then do what I sense is best for my body. If they become aware of a physical reality, it's no longer a suggestion, it's instruction. While I would get other doctors' opinions and insight, I would not blow off my doctor. Our goal is longterm safety and health, not a quick fix.

2. Don't run if it hurts.

I like that you said you ran "12-15 minutes." I'm a strong advocate of time goals over distance goals. Except if you decide to do a 5k, or something similar. Then you will need to train using distance as a goal.

If, however, you are going to stick with time goals, lower the time so you are not hurting.

There is NO REASON to feel pain. I do NOT abide by the concept of "no pain, no gain." My experience with MYSELF (each person is different) is that if it's painful, I'll quit. When I started running, I did not want to merely run until I lost a certain amount of weight. I wanted running to become my lifestyle.

ME: "I pray every day, I don't wear pants. I raise my children. I run. I breathe."

I wanted it to be as natural and as integrated as breathing.

3.There is more to jogging than running.

What I mean by that, is that you can "go for a run," but walk half or most of it. Your main goal is to get your heart rate up to the place where you have heavy breathing. Once you are breathing heavily, just walk for a bit. 

Getting your heart rate up to that level actually sustains calorie and fat burning even if you sit down.

Running in intervals (walking/running/sit-ups/running/walking/running, etc.) is not only effective and easier, but it has gained national attention as being quite healthy and more efficient for your body.  

Hope this helps you decide if running is for you, and how to sustain it.

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