I remember Cam telling me this when we first started seeing each other and I was feeling challenged by some tough mountain biking we were doing. The point is your fitness will improve and remain constant if you start off slowly with lower intensity workouts and build in increments. This is much better than throwing yourself into a “no pain= no gain” scenario where really all you’re doing is damaging your muscle mass and opening yourself up to repetitive strain issues.
I’ve been running off and on for a number of years but it’s never become routine in my life. Either I got hurt or it was too hard scheduling time to go when Lily needed taking care of and I never enjoyed pushing the stroller while running. I was obviously ignoring the great advice Cam gave me so long ago and I was making running too hard to become enjoyable.
I needed to make it easier- at least to get myself going. The first step was getting Cam to commit to supporting my efforts. I’m so lucky he’s willing and able to run with me, pushing Leif in the stroller while Lily rides her bike. He can stop to help the kids or leash Oscar when we pass through town so my running doesn’t have to be interrupted. He’s there to give me moral support and confidence.
I also decided I wasn’t going to run any hills, which is kind of hard to do here on the hilly rock of an island I live on. I’ve had too many running days put on hold because of sore knees so I now drive down to the flat waterfront of town to run. Reading the book Chi Running has helped a great deal when it comes to posture and pain free, easier running.
I’m also following a 10 week plan to allow my body to become accustomed to the stresses and challenges of running. For each week, I run three times with one or maybe two days break in between. I’m so thankful for the heart rate monitor that Justine gifted to me which times my intervals for me. I stick with the timing even if I think I can run more or walk less.
- Week 1: Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes. Repeat 5 times
- Week 2: Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times
- Week 3: Run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes. Repeat 4 times
- Week 4: Run 7 minutes, walk 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times
- Week 5: Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times
- Week 6: Run 9 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times then run 8 minutes 1 time
- Week 7: Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minutes. Repeat 3 times
- Week 8: Run 13 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 2 times
- Week 9: Run 14 minutes, walk 1 minutes. Repeat 2 times
- Week 10: Run 30 minutes. Repeat once and celebrate!
It’s been going so well for me that I thought I’d share this program with all of you! I have to admit that I’m actually starting to enjoy running. You could too….