Running is not about speed, it is about endurance, find your pace and you are set. If you are huffing and puffing along you are pushing too hard, a comfortable pace is enjoyable. The funny thing is that I never set out on a daily exercise regime with the goal of running each day. Initially I walked, at first not very far, a couple of miles, but quickly I was doing the couple of miles at a faster pace and my body wanted to go longer. After a while I was/do walk five, six, seven miles at a time, all the while keeping up a steady pace, I find it invigorating and relaxing at the same time. Once my body adapted to an hour, hour and half, sometimes two hours of fast walking the next logical step was to start running. The walking really built up my endurance and the running was fairly easily incorporated into my days. There are, and will be, days when I set out to run and my body seems to say NO you are walking today, but they are few and far between.
I took three days off from fast walking and running, and oh my goodness did I miss it, I planned to rest my foot, due to plantar faciitis pain, for five days but just couldn't wait any longer to get back out to exercise. I was going crazy. Funny how my body has so adapted to exercise. A year ago I would feel that a slow walk to the chicken coop was a lot! But of course at that time I was 75 lbs heavier and leading a very sedentary life.
This past weekend I picked up a book by Jeff Galloway, Running Getting Started, it is just chock full of information. And, the format of the book allows for quick digestion of the facts presented and is upbeat and encouraging, it covers everything from shoes, clothing, fat burning, diet, injuries, how to treat injuries, how to prepare for an event, etc. Jeff Galloway was an Olympic runner in 1972, he is now in his mid 60's ,and still an avid runner. Jeff has started many people off to become runners, no matter what decade of life they are in, it is never too late, if a person in their 80's can take up running and incorporate daily exercise into their life what is your reason for not exercising?
I admire Ernestine Shepherd, the 76 year old from Maryland who runs 10 miles a day and is the worlds oldest female body builder, she is in excellent shape and doesn't look her age. Last week a 92 year old lady became the oldest woman ever to finish a marathon, yes a marathon 26.2 miles, it took her just over 7 hours, AMAZING. I am PROUD of my Mom, she is 75 and recently took up daily walking, she is doing 3.7 miles a day!! The results have paid off, Mom is now off of her blood pressure medication and heart medication, and she is committed to walking daily for her health. My Mom is an inspiration. (Maybe Mom will end up being a runner :))
Wherever you are in life, perhaps you have a disability and exercise is going to be a struggle, try to find something that you enjoy that gets you moving. At first everything is hard, your body resists, you ache, muscles hurt that you didn't even know you had, but you have to push through and do what you can. After a week or two your body adjusts and you can do a little more, and then a little more after that, and before you know it you are looking forward to your walk, you feel elated to see your progress, your body and mind begin to reap the benefits of regular exercise.
Last summer my body was stiff and tired, my knees ached, my back was stiff, my feet hurt, I would get up out of chair and then have to take a moment to unkink, I felt old and I was only 50. I always had aches and pains. The funny thing is the aches, pains and stiffness were really my muscles way of telling me HELLO you need to use us or we will continue to weaken and waste away. So beginning to exercise causes new aches and pains, but they are due to muscles suddenly being used and strengthened, and once they are strengthened the aches, pains, stiffness disappear, you suddenly realize that you bounce up out of the chair, you find yourself running up the stairs, you move faster, you sleep better. And as you drag your body back into shape you have a desire to eat a healthy diet, you notice that some foods really slow you down so you eliminate them. It is all win win.
So my friends I encourage you to get up off the couch and start moving, just put one foot in front of the other and go. Don't worry about distance, don't worry about speed, just start moving more each day than you do right now and be prepared to amaze yourself.
|Hopefully you can read the "evolution of a runner", I read this list and chuckled as it described my journey to a T :)|