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full time job
half marathon
good shape
three kids
busy schedule
single parent
dehydration
heart attack
runners
few days
exercise
The First 5 Km
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The First 5 Km

A slow start makes all the difference.

If you want to run without feeling that you are going to die of a heart attack or dehydration you have to train. Some people are in perfectly good shape even if they have never run a mile. Walking and attending the gym regularly can make it a lot easier to get through the first difficult stages of running. But I think almost anyone can run. The secret is to start slowly, and not just give up if it hurts somewhere. If it hurts you can slow down, but you can try again the next day.

The method I used myself was to find a 5 km route and start to walk and then run slowly every day of the week before work. I was a single parent with three kids and had a full time job. It was the only way I could fit exercise into my busy schedule. I had my running clothes ready the night before and just got up and got dressed every morning at 6 am. That way I managed to be home again before I had to wake the kids up for school. Running this early meant for me that I wasn't quite awake and my mind didn't seem able to think of any excuses for me not to go out there. If I was not really feeling up to it, I just walked and that was ok. The goal was to log 5km five days a week for a half a year. And that is what I did. It didn't matter if I ran very slowly or walked. The distance was what I focused on.

There are all kinds of training schedules available for beginners that want to be able to run lets say 5km, 10k, a half marathon or the marathon distance of 42.2 km. I have never used any of them myself. I set my own goals and then I see each week as a unit where I focus on the accumulated distance. The week before the week before a marathon I run at least 100 km. The weeks before that 70 - 80 km. This works fine for me and I know that if I am to busy or sick to run one day or a few days in a row I can always catch up. The problem with prefabricated training schedules is often that the runners following those schedules are too fixed on doing things "right". And if they fail following their schedules they tend to give up.


Street Talk

Steve37  

good article

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Try South Africa, taxi dodging is now becoming one of the best ways to stay fit.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Well.. I guess there is nothing wrong with using every opportunity you have to get some exercise. Just like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You go out in the street knowing that you inevitably have to move fast suddenly

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Rob, running here in Manila...sometimes its all one can do to stay alive... dodging Jeepnys, buses and taxis..and yet I still love running and challenging myself.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I wonder if that can be considered healthy. Sounds as if there is no way in between. Alive or dead.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yes a combination of walking and running is definitely the way to get started and the best thing about running is it's free!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yes, it is free.. or it doesn't cost money. Like many other precious things in our life.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yeah, schedules are so important. It keeps you disciplined. Starting slow is the best in any new thing, it always works. Thanks

Reply
  about 7 years ago

to many give up because they are in too much hurry in the beginning

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Why is it so many runners do not look as though they are enjoying themselves? The grimace on the face, the pain, just makes me wonder why they do it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Well.. I am not one of those so I don't know why they look like that. Maybe they think they look like they are working hard in a positive way?

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Could be, do not get me wrong, as a young man I was a fairly accomplished athlete with high jump records standing for 25 years before broken, I trained and ran many a longer distance run, with great enjoyment. Normally alone and at high pressure always trying to beat myself, but I enjoyed it, with a smile on my face. It is just so obvious that some that I see running today are not enjoying it, probably running for health and fitness, I just wonder why they do not seek out an alternative that would be more enjoyable to them. I love your articles and your passion for your subject, do not stop writing about it.

  
  about 7 years ago
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