The other night during #Runchat (every Sunday evening on Twitter), one of the questions that was asked was what people wanted to see from #Runchat in 2015. One common answer was that people wanted to see more information about a variety of topics from runners so that we could share information and learn from one another. I thought this was a great idea. I’ve already shared a few topics, and I know some of you have as well – but it might be fun to dive a bit more into a few topics and give our own personal outlooks on all things running. I know that I have read many stories and tips from runners that has helped me over the past few years, like how to update my Garmin (Thanks Lara!), and how to roll specific muscle areas (Thanks Jane!).
A few topics that I will explore will be:
– What I like/Don’t like about races
– Nutrition and fueling while running
– How to get out of training ruts
– My goals
– Injury Prevention
– Kinds of training plans – where to find one
– Race Strategy
I have met and talked to many people over the years that want to start running, want to get faster, or want to tackle new distances. There are many runners out there that will be tackling the marathon for the first time in 2015. Most of the posts that I will be writing will be for the beginner to somewhat experienced runner and will be from my own experience, with a tad bit of research. If you are looking to BQ, I’m probably not going to be able to help you much, other than words of encouragement 🙂
My Running Story
Back in high school, I was the average track and field athlete. I went to practice 4x a week, but wasn’t part of a track club – I wish there was something like the Ottawa Lions in Mississauga in the 1990’s! I was a sprinter and hurdler and strongly opposed running longer than 800m at a time. Since track people tended to join the cross country team in the fall, I tried to join in on the running fun. I could barely run a 4K loop around the school. So, just like that, I dropped out of that team. I even tried to run in our school’s annual mile-run race and failed miserably. I was the last one to cross the line, which was embarrassing. I stuck with 100m and 400m hurdles and was plenty good enough at that.
In university, I dabbled in and out of athletics – sometimes going to the gym, and sometimes just eating burgers instead. By the time I graduated I don’t think I even went into the gym other than to write exams. My only form of exercise in teacher’s college was walking to school. I remember having a few roommates who were in to running and always gave them a strange look when they said they were going for a 10K. I had one friend from high school who was part of the Running Room and was always going home early on Saturday nights as she was going long-running in the morning. More strange looks from me. Then, I started coaching track and field again and things started to change. I became a bit more active – starting hiking, biking and that sort of thing – but not running. Actually, if you ask my friend who I coached with back in Toronto she will tell you that I said to her “you will never see me running a marathon!”.
Right. Eventually, I moved to Ottawa and wasn’t as busy anymore since I wasn’t working full-time. I watched X-Weighted and saw many people run 10K or half marathons as their fitness goal. Maybe it is Paul Plakas who I should thank for getting started with running? So – I decided to get active again and start running. I started off painfully slow and wearing baggy shorts and a cotton t-shirt, with a pair of shoes that I couldn’t tell you were neutral or stability enhancing. I just went out and ran. At first I could barely run more than 1K without stopping. I ran a 3K loop every once in awhile with no watch and no real sense of what I was doing. To check distances, I would use Google maps and guess where the KM markings were. When I finally started working full-time again, I saw that many people were running in the 2010 Ottawa Race Weekend. I figured, well – if everyone else is doing it – and signed up. I did not have a training plan, a running blog or any way of recording what I was running – so almost 6 years later, I cannot really tell you what I did to prepare other than get out and run every once in awhile.
The day of the race, I met some friends for lunch who were in town for a wedding. I hung out with them for a bit and at 4pm I went to the race area. Funny enough, I remember more of the lunch than I do of the race. My goal was to finish in under 40 minutes. I had zero clue of my pace (or even what pace was!) and had low expectations. I do remember stopping a couple of times on the course but had a pretty good first 5K time of just over 33 minutes. Thank you Sports Stat for listing most of my times!
After that, I was hooked. I ran a few more 5K’s in 2010 and even went sub-29 by the fall. But still, for the first year I ran with minimal knowledge of all things running. I did not get a Garmin until 2011 and did not really follow a training plan until 2012. You do not need all the fancy gadgets and super complex training plans when you first start out. You really need to find a love for running and then get started with all the other things. But, there are a few items that one should think about once they do get started. Sometimes, us runners like to do things backwards and have something happen *then* try to fix it. For some, they might never need to fix anything and are happy enough to just “go running” every day.
What is your running story?