Saturday, July 11, 2015

Lessons from a Beginner Runner

Here are some hard truths I learned from my first week running.

Lesson 1: Proper shoes and socks are required. 

By the end of my first 30 minute run/walk, I was on tip toes because my ankles were in such pain. In only 30 minutes I had developed blisters that were rubbed raw and bleeding. I am still too cheap to buy thicker socks, so I've been folding a kleenex and putting them in my socks along the ankle. No more bleeding and my wounds are healing.

Lesson 2: Interval running is much more manageable than just trying to run as far as you can.

My body is not capable of running 13 miles without stopping. Even in an ideal world, that's not a goal of mine. The only problem with following a run/walk plan is that I need something or somebody to tell me when it is time to switch. I was excited to discover multiple interval training apps. I'm currently using the Runtastic timer, which can be used for Tabata, HIIT, etc.

Lesson 3: If you're going to use your phone for music and/or running apps, you should invest in an armband or spibelt.

My first few runs were very awkward holding my cell phone. My hands were so sweaty I was worried about dropping it. I researched different belts and bands, but settled on a $20 band from Academy Sports. I haven't quite gotten the hang of it. The cord from my earbuds are either too long or too short when I wrap it around the band. The strap slides when I'm really sweaty. (It's been close to 100 degrees all week!) And I definitely haven't mastered glancing at the screen to check mileage or timers yet. But I'm getting more comfortable with the armband and it's certainly more practical than holding my phone the whole time.

Lesson 4: Pay attention to where you're running on the greenway.

I was only supposed to run 3 miles today. I got hopelessly lost after several turns. I kept running into neighborhoods (literally!) and trying to backtrack. The problem with the greenway is every bridge looks the same and there are several forks in the road. I had to pause several times to think about where I was going. I eventually had to stop, take my phone out of the armband, and download an app to navigate back to the car. Jesse has reminded me many times today how ridiculous this is and that it's impossible to get lost on the greenway. Newsflash: it is definitely possible!

I have a bad feeling I'll be learning a lot of lessons the hard way. Stay tuned for future editions of Running for Dummies. Ha!

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