Until last week, the only time I finished a race was on Athletics Day. in fifth grade. Back in high school, I was trying to figure out how to get out of gym class because running a mile was too hard for me. Sports, in general, were not my thing. Running, even less.
As an adult, I went to the gym, took gym classes, and worked with trainers. But none of it gave me satisfaction nor has it made me want to continue doing it. The most sustained exercise I did in the last decade was a regimen of deep kneeling bends with a colicky baby in my arms after my first child was born.
Then the various confinements came and I surprised everyone in my house, especially myself, by joining a close group of people runningwhose members had gone from meeting locally to communicating virtually. As it was a type of exercise that I could do alone, the conditions were ideal for me.
But for a newcomer to the world of running, the idea that it is enough to simply put on a pair of shoes and take to the streets is A big lie, created, I suppose, by people who started running after giving up football or basketball.
Every time, to run that horrible first minute, I have to make a great effort. I am out of breath. The muscles I didn’t know I had hurt like I never thought possible. I feel self-conscious when a neighbor sees me running in the street. However, I keep going. Now i can run 20 minutes in a row and not all of them are horrible.
The following are some of the things that I have learned and have helped me to overcome the situation and continue to move forward even when I would much rather pplow for iced coffee.
Put aside the cynicism
If you’re the one who laughs at inspirational Instagram quotes, block that part of your brain for the entire time you’re running. Now I understand why fitness instructors are often so relentlessly blunt. Positive messages are needed to get through the difficult parts of training.
Try a simple reflection exercise recommended by Coffey, filmmaker and founder of the DeFine New York Run Club. Ask yourself: “What is my why?” Y “Which is my goal?”. Coffey’s “why” is to get in shape; her goal, to be able to keep up with her three young children.
“I want to have enough energy when they want to play,” he says. “I don’t want to be one of those parents who says, ‘I can’t.’
They advise regulating the speed. Illustrative photo Shutterstock.
Find yourself a voice for your head
To invite all that positive question into my cold, dark heart, as the song goes, I take advantage of the outdoor running classes on the Peloton app, which is cheaper than the stationary bikes or treadmills sold by the same company. During 20 or 60 minutes I feel an instructor in my ear or an instructor who keeps me going, plays their favorite music and gives me running tips or tells me when to walk.
“As a coach, I let people lean on me,” says Becs Gentry, one of Peloton’s running instructors. Since she records classes herself while running, Becs uses her own internal battles as motivators. If you feel exhausted, say: “I know this is bullshit, people, but let’s do it together. Don’t let me down. “Or:” You can do it for three minutes. Think of all the things that take you more than three minutes. “
If you want a less talkative virtual coach, you can use the Couch to 5K application, a program suitable for beginners that allows you to choose characters such as Johnny Dead, a zombie that chases brains, or Runicorn, a running unicorn, so they tell you when to run or walk.
Put your dirty clothes back on
Experts advise sleep in running clothes – compression leggings and all – so nothing gets between you and the start of your morning run. And, as Tara Parker-Pope explains on the New York Times 7-Day Well Challenge blog, removing these types of obstacles makes it easier for you to achieve new health goals. But there was no way I was going to sleep in a sports bra or get out of bed before 7 in the morning to run.
The light bulb went on when the woman who runs my running group, Helen McCaffrey Birney, told us on Zoom that she he doesn’t always wear clean clothes to run. She wears her cute leggings with pockets again and no one notices.
Since the least I need during the pandemic is doing laundry (it comes second, very close behind taking care of dirty dishes), this has been a perfect way to do it. reduce friction and chores.
If you are okay with putting your used gear back on too, just make sure you put those dirty clothes somewhere in your room, maybe on a hanger so that sweat dries in time of the next workout. In the long run, you’ll need to wash your clothes before they start to announce themselves when someone enters the room; my experience is that it is probably after three sets.
For some people, running in a group can be motivating. Illustrative photo Shutterstock.
Don’t run fast
You may not consider yourself fast, but you are probably running faster than necessary. Do you find that you are moving more slowly than if you were walking? I slowed down more.
Do you feel like a turtle? Put the turtle in slow motion.
This way you will be able to run longer and the slower you go, the more attention you will be able to pay to your body. That pain in the shins is telling you something, but not necessarily that you have to stop running. Maybe you need it support the foot in another way Or try a different recovery stretch.
As an added bonus, you will also learn to orient yourself when running slowly. “Running was my GPS,” Coffey tells me.
When the filmmaker goes for a group run in New York, the goal is never to go fast; is to see the city. With the great orientation problems, walking my small suburb has finally allowed me to know which street to take to get to my children’s drawing classes.
Find your slow buddies to run
Finding a cool community like Coffey’s “run gang” near you can be a blast. It will make you meet goals without you entering to compete. And for some, having such a group to run in person it is motivating simply because it is a social thing.
Although if you are like me and run with others adds more pressure To do your thing, join virtually. Join a group of online brokers to see if it inspires you to read the experiences of others.
Helen McCaffrey Birney, who is also the CEO of Cultivate Health Coaching, says there are people on her Facebook group who pass two years before deciding to start to really run.
Through Run Across America, a site that Helen launched last year, you can join virtual races with someone to accompany you or a team that raises money for non-profit organizations and follow your progress towards a certain goal. You can even get one “sweaty selfie” with the app every time you finish running.
For Helen, taking that photo is key. When he moved his show to the internet, he started asking everyone to share photos by posting them after he finished running. Now the group feed is filled with mixed photos of women like me. We proudly post the photos, and the likes and congratulatory comments they start happening right away. That camaraderie attitude may well be the biggest motivation I’ve found thus far.
Ready to go? Find someone to help you meet your goals responsibly, listen to upbeat coaches, think positive, and take a picture of yourself in your laundry. Then we can all go back to being our most sarcastic, non-sporty selves.
By Farah Miller © The New York Times
Translation: Román García Azcárate