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A Mom’s 30 Minute Guide for Running Beginners

Sarah Visbeek authors In the Trenches of Mommyhood, her personal blog about being a full-time working mother whose bathrooms always smell like pee. With a husband and three sports-loving sons, Sarah’s Boston trenches are full of balls–literally and figuratively. Her entire series titled “A Beginner’s Guide to Running” can be found on her blog.

So maybe you are tired of the gym. Or you want to exercise inexpensively. Or you want to take advantage of the nice weather. There are a myriad of reasons people choose to run. So whatever the reason, virtual high-five! Good for you!

Let me just first start out by reassuring you that anyone can run. Just head to the finish line of any race, of any distance, in any city. I promise you will be inspired as you observe runners of all different shapes, sizes and ages cross the finish line. Tall, short, fat, thin, old, young. YOU can be a runner, too.

Please know that there are many different running programs out there. For beginners, the most popular option is the Couch to 5K Program. When I first started thinking about running, I knew that this program would not work for me. Why? Because I’m much too impatient and all-or-nothing. If I’m going to run, then I’m going to run, dammit. If I’m going to walk, then I’m walking. For me, I can’t mentally or physically digest the combination of running and walking together in one outing.

So, I’m here to tell you about a different strategy that I utilized that has worked for me and others I know. It’s kind of like the Tough Love version of beginning to run.

Simply: Go out and run for 30 minutes straight and don’t stop.

Now, I’m certainly not saying that you have to go from being a couch potato like I was (New England winters are rough, yo!) to a record-breaking sprinter. Not at all.

And trust me, when you first start, it’s not pretty. Think of it more as trudging than running. But it’s NOT walking.

Every. single. time you venture out for a run, don’t do less than 30 minutes. Before you know it, that 30 minutes will seem, dare I say, easy. Or, okay, easier.

When you utilize the combination of running and walking, I feel like you miss out on the experience of a “runner’s high”. For me, I know my “feel good” happens after 20 minutes of non-stop running.

Just try it. You will be surprised at how the urge to just go for a run becomes addictive!

Good luck!
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April 30th, 2011

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