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Making the Switch From Walking to Running

My Exercise Essentials

My Exercise Essentials

My standard response when asked if I run is “only when chased.”  Thus far I have been a dancer, a walker, a slave to the elliptical trainer and a pilates devotee, but never a runner. 

To tell the truth, I always hated running.  When I was a kid and sports bras weren’t what they’ve become I hated the pain and look of the “boob bounce.”  I ran out of breath fast and would be huffing and puffing like nobody’s business (I was diagnosed with asthma this year).  But lately, I’ve been thinking that I need to give running a serious try.  The truth is that while it’s great that I can walk 20+ miles a day (I’ve done the 3-Day Breast Cancer walk twice) I’m starting to envy runners’ ability to torch calories.

To make this transition the right way, I’ve consulted friends who are runners, my husband (he’s a 4-6 mile a day runner, sometimes more), magazines and running blogs.  I’ve also decided to make a goal – 2 actually.  The first is to run in the Puget Sound Susan G. Komen 5K in June.  I was on the Race Committee last year and will be on it this year, so actually running in this race would be a big deal for me and this goal seems really achievable.  The second and much bigger goal is to run in the Seattle half-marathon in November.  Every year I’m in town, I hear the run go through my neighborhood; next year I want to be part of it, even if it means run/walking the whole 13 or so miles.     

With those goals in mind, I started my transition this morning.  I puffed on my inhaler, put on a breath strip to help with the huffing and puffing (it really did help), set my treadmill for 35 minutes, incline 1, did a 3 minute warm-up splitting the pace between a 4 mph and 4.2 mph walk, and then started on intervals: 2 mins jogging at a very doable 5.5 mph pace  (10.9 min miles) followed by 2 mins walking at a 4.4 mph pace.  I did 7 intervals for a total of 14 mins of jogging.  You know what, it wasn’t half bad.  My plan is to continue with 2/2 intervals for at least a week and then move to 3/2 intervals, then 4/2, etc.  When I can comfortably run for 30 minutes then I’ll think about picking up the pace.  I’ll keep you posted.

For those thinking of training for a half marathon, Amanda gave me a link to a great novice plan by Hal Higdon:  http://www.halhigdon.com/halfmarathon/novice.htm


3 Responses

  1. Good luck on your upcoming races!! I’m sure you’ll make a fabulous runner 😀

  2. i hated running when I was younger too — but chose to when I was 29 after i quit smoking and had brain surgery. Now I enjoy it… just think of the HBBC points you can rack up! 😀

  3. Congratulations! I am planning on doing a few races this summer, too! I just started to run ( a few months back).

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