Friday, August 30, 2013

The Mile

Walk a mile in my shoes? HA! Run a 10k in my shoes, then we'll talk.
If you only walked a mile in my shoes, you wouldn't get it.

I sincerely believe that people who have never really run consistently before write it off way too quickly. They decide that running is a cheap form of exercise and a good way to lose weight, so they go out for a bit, find it uncomfortable, walk (which is fine if you've never run before), then stop completely. Feeling defeated, they come up with the following conclusions about why they don't like running:

"My --fill-in-the-blank-- hurt when I try to run."
"I just get so short of breath when I try to run."
"Running just doesn't agree with me."

These things are all true. About the first mile. No one likes the first mile.

Runners, am I right about this?  I've heard that track workouts for my triathlon club have historically lower attendance when the workout calls for a "timed mile" - and these are people who do Ironman, for the love of God.

The trick to being in love with running, or any endurance sport, is to get past the first mile. If you were like, "Suzanne, go run a mile." I would dread it too. I hate running one mile only. That first mile of any workout is brutal. Believe it or not, my legs don't feel good during the first mile and my breathing is really uncomfortable. In fact, I now dread the first three miles. (This is why I don't do a lot of 5k runs). It takes a while before my legs loosen up, my lungs get enough air, and joints start to perpetuate a good rhythm. It takes a good 30 minutes to start to feel good.

So, remember this. I don't know anyone who loves running one mile. You have to give it time, walk before you can run, push through, because miles 5 and 6 are bomb diggity.

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