The First Three Miles
|January 9, 2014||Posted by The Fit Scoop under Coaching, Workouts|
My walk-run transition program back into running had me reminiscing the other day about how I followed a similar progression when I first starting running nearly 10 years ago at the end of college. Up until then my workouts consisted of walking, stationary cycling, and the elliptical plus strength training but no running. Some friends I was on spring break with of my senior year of college asked if I wanted to go out on a three mile run with them. I thought sure – I’m in decent shape, I’m sure I can do it. Nope…dead wrong. After less than a mile my lungs were burning, my legs felt heavy, and I had slowed to a walk. I learned the unfortunately fact that fitness from other modes of exercise does not necessarily translate into running fitness. Once vacation was over I became determined to be able to run three miles without stopping. I found a walk/run program online and began my transformation from exerciser to runner.
I still remember when I ran my first three miles. I felt SO excited. This was before I cared about my pace (ah, how refreshing that can be!) or knew about tempo runs, long runs, or running races. To my novice self three miles was the ultimate sign that I was a “runner.” Of course once three miles felt easy the goal became four miles and then five, and over time I discovered running races and worked my way up from 5Ks to marathons, even making it to my ultimate goal of qualifying for Boston.
So now I find myself back to where I was when I first started running: following a walk-run program. Unfortunately I now know about track workouts, long runs, and races, and I remember very well what my paces used to be. I keep trying to remind myself that if I got to where I was once, with time I can very well do it again. I just need to run those first three miles. Anyway, the purpose of this little trip down memory lane is two-fold: to remind me to be patient (so hard to do!) and to serve as an example that you don’t have to have natural talent to be a runner or have been a runner in your youth. You just need a plan, a goal, and some determination.