|Image from YourAustinMarathon.com|
The Austin Half Marathon is just a few days away, and I'm getting excited to run my first 13.1 mile race. Admittedly, I never aspired to run in a race like this, but a friend challenged me and I can't wait to reach the finish line! I followed a training program, am feeling strong, and I've become totally addicted to running.
Running is a great workout, but the hardest part is getting started. Here are a few tips to help YOU fall in love with running:
- Start small. If you haven't been running, a 3 or 4 mile run is a very aggressive way to start. You'll hate it. Start small, and take walking breaks. Walking is a great workout too, so there's no shame! Plus, the interval training will help you increase your overall fitness.
- Run with music. I have a playlist full of upbeat songs that keep me going when I start to feel tired- it's like a little workout party! If you're not feeling creative enough to make your own playlist, check out the free downloads at RockMyRun.com.
- Get outside. Treadmills are a good option when the weather is crummy, but being outside is much more fun. The scenery will keep you distracted, plus the uneven terrain will challenge your muscles.
- Find an app. If you're new to running, there are tons of helpful apps like Couch to 5K, Strava Run, etc. available for your phone or iPod. Use them to map your runs, challenge you with intervals, and get your lazy bum off the couch!
- Mix it up. You don't have to run every day. In fact, it's good to mix it up and even rest from time to time. I love yoga or barre classes on my off days, but spinning is another great way to challenge your muscles without lacing up your running shoes.
Below is the training plan that I followed. The walk-run-walk days were much more challenging than I expected, but I feel prepared for race day!