I can’t believe how many people have asked me advice on running and triathlons! It makes me so happy because I really like helping people and also really like talking about running and triathlons (I try not to talk about them constantly during my day to day life because I don’t want to sound like some fitness asshole). So I am here to tell you that you can start running if you work at it!
First things first. Go to a running store and treat yoself to a really good pair of running shoes. Otherwise you could get injured and that would just be stupid! They’re going to cost you a pretty penny (about $130) but it’s worth it! Even if you can’t afford food for a couple of weeks.
A lot of questions I have gotten asked about running are about how to actually start running. Most people say that they can go like 2 or 3 miles but then can’t go any further and have to stop. WELLLLL how are you going to get better at running if you go the same distance every time!? (I used to do this too, I used to HAAAAAAAAAAAAATE running). You definitely CAN go further; humans were built for long distance running (I think? I prolly need some citation on this but I’m just thinking about how our ancestors used to hunt on foot and shit).
My advice to get better at running when you’re first starting is to relax and don’t even worry about your pace yet. Just get really loose and get into it gradually. When you start to hit your usual wall at mile 2 or 3 or 7 or whatever, maybe tell yourself to run just 5 minutes longer. 5 minutes isn’t that long! Even if the 5 minutes is a slow jog to cool down. Running 5 minutes longer could add almost an entire half of a mile to your run (depending on your speed of course!)
Also make sure you stretch before and after. You would think that’s an obvious statement, right??? Well not for me. I get home from running and just want to shower and then by the time I’m done showering all I want to do is eat and sit until the end of time. Don’t be a stupid bitch like me, do your stretches.
So once you feel comfortable enough with running and you realize that YES YOU CAN DO THIS then you should sign up for a race! And sign up like right away, don’t put that shit off. If you spend the money on it, you’re definitely more motivated to actually train for it. Also if you keep putting it off registering, then you might change your mind and never sign up. NO DO IT SIGN UP RIGHT NOW.
I don’t really follow any sort of training plan for races. I’m not really that intense, I mostly just run because it’s fun. My goal is usually to finish the race uninjured and alive and to maybe beat my last time if possible.
For half marathons, I typically run 2 or 3 times during the week anywhere from 3 to 6 miles then on Sunday, I try to get in a longer run. The basic rule of thumb is that you should only increase your mileage 10% per week to avoid injury. So if you run 7 miles one week then do 7.7 the next and so on. The highest I usually got for half marathons was about 10 or 11 miles.
For the marathon I would do the same schedule, going 2 or 3 times a week but these were 5-8 mile runs. Then on Sundays I would do my long run with my longest run getting up to 18 miles (you should probably do 20 though). AND OH LAWD I won’t lie to you, it gets BORING running that far alone. It’s a predicament though, because I HATE running with other people (I hate trying to stay at someone else’s pace and hate talking while working out). But if you think running with someone else would be more fun, then try to find a running buddy! Or maybe someone who is willing to at least run part of the run with you!
Also for the really long runs, make sure you run in an area with easily accessible bathrooms/ drinking fountains. I bring a little hand water bottle with me but 18 miles takes a long ass time and I ran out of water. Luckily, I have a friend who lives on the route whose house I used as an aid station (thanks Kaila!)
Like I said, I just run for fun. If you’re looking to actually train for real then I would recommend following a professional training plan. Those plans have the exact mileage you should be doing and also throw in like speed work and stuff (I would rather die than do speedwork). Again, it’s really up to you! I’m just saying what I have done in the past and it definitely works for me. My fastest half marathon is 1:55 and my marathon was 4:45. so decent but not super fast by any means.
Anyway, I am no professional or anything. I just wrote this for anyone who has thought about getting into running but is afraid they can’t do it. or wants to train for a race but doesn’t know how.