Monday, September 13, 2010

Removing the barriers that keep you from running

For the past month or so, I've been trying to get back into the habit of running. I signed up for a 15K on November 6. That's 9.3 miles. Hopefully that will keep me on track.

Because I need something to keep me on track. I tried enough (barely) to be able to cross the finish line of the half marathon, I did a 5K a couple weeks later and then more or less stopped running since. So clearly I need  motivation in the form of a race to keep me going.

I need to focus on eliminating the barriers that keep me from running. By that, I mean the excuses I fall back on, the reasons I give myself to skip a run, which turns into going weeks and weeks without running.

The number one excuse I make is that I don't have time. But what I mean is, I would rather waste my time doing something else - surfing the internet, watching TV, generally sitting on my butt. How much time does a run take? It doesn't have to take long. Heck, I can run for 20 minutes and get 2 miles in, and then it's another half hour to shower and all that. And I have to shower anyway, so when you get right down to it, it's a minimum of 20 minutes. 30 if you factor in changing into running clothes, putting in my contacts, putting on my shoes. On the nights when I don't really have to go anywhere, I have no reason not to run.

The other common excuse I make is the weather. It's too hot or too cold. But I can train myself to run in the heat, and I probably want to should if I ever plan to do a race between the months of May and October (you never know what weather will actually be like in the Midwest). And too cold is BS. I've run in the cold before. You wear layers, and no matter how cold you are when you start out, you're warm by then end, and at the very least, you've removed your hat and mittens and probably unzipped your jacket.

I came across a great blog post earlier, from How to Go From Sedentary to Running in Five Steps. It shares an easy plan for anyone (who is willing and able) to become a "runner," no matter how sedentary you are. If you can walk for 20-30 minutes, you should be able to follow the program.

Awhile back, I talked about why I run. This article also brings up some other basic reasons for  why everyone should run - the health benefits and also the mental benefits. And running is so easy. All you need is a decent pair of shoes (true, a good pair of running shoes costs $100 or more, but think about how much you could spend on a gym membership or yoga class or other fitness - $100 every 300-500 miles isn't that much over time). Everyone probably already has t-shirts and shorts or athletic pants and socks. If you have a smartphone, there are tons of running apps that use GPS to track your time, distance, pace, elevation, etc.

54 more days until the 15K ...

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