From a Waddle to a Sprint
You’re surrounded by people of all shapes and sizes. Your heart is pumping anticipating the burst of energy you’re about to let out. Then BOOM! You’re off! You sprint ahead thinking about how super fast and super awesome you are, the smell of the fresh air fills your lungs, and the sun beats down on your face. After a while your body gets tired, but the adrenaline pumps when you turn and see that finish. You hear the crowd cheering and you want to finish strong, so you sprint with all you got left! The race is over and you have an irreplaceable feeling of accomplishment!
My name is Liberty and I’m an Aquarist here at Mystic Aquarium. Over the past year and a half I’ve started running as a workout/hobby and to help get people excited for this year’s Penguin Run, I’m going to write a little bit about running and how to train for a 5k.
So why start running? Running is a fantastic sport to get into in my opinion because it’s a sport you can compete with yourself. You don’t need to beat anything except the goals you set for yourself and can become an awesome runner. A lot of the time, especially when you’re starting out, running isn’t about speed, it’s about distance. Hitting a milestone is a great feeling. If you told me last year that I would be running my THIRD half marathon next month, I would probably laugh in your face. Just make sure to always listen to your body. If your body aches and you can’t push through, just stop and take a break for a minute, an hour, or a day. If you are a totally new runner and you want to train for your first 5K (3.1 miles) you can follow my blog and I’ll give you the same steps I took a year and a half ago.
First pick three days of the week you want to either wake up early, take some time on your lunch break, or have time after school or work to train. Stick to those days! It helps to make it part of a routine. Also you’re going to want a watch or timer of some kind. There are also a bunch of cool running apps for your phone to track your progress! Before starting any work out, do a five minute warm up walk. This will help you loosen up. The following chart is the first part of the program Couch to 5K which is what I used to start running. Every two weeks when I post I will give you your routine.
|Week||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|1||Alternate between 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.||Alternate between 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.||Alternate between 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.|
|2||Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.||Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.||Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.|
Do not get discouraged if this feels hard! When I started doing this, I literally fell on my couch and didn’t move for a few hours because I was so tired. This routine will help you gain confidence and endurance for the journey ahead!
Getting started in running is the hardest part. You have to find something to work for and inspire you. Becoming healthier, strengthening your body, or just wanting to try a new sport are all great reasons to start running. Once you start, what is going to keep you motivated?? Plenty of runners, myself included, feel that running relieves stress and you can zone out while you run. When I run during my lunch break at work I actually feel really positive the rest of the day. I also love video games and with the new Pokemon Go coming out, my miles have been up. (Granted, they’re a little slower than usual due to Pokemon catching, but they’re up!) I like making running a game in general by challenging myself to beat my time again and again. Other people love having all the bells and whistles. Running watches are awesome little pieces of technology that are fun to have and help you track your pace, distance, and heart rate. Some will even connect via Bluetooth to your phone and help you stay connected as you run with email and text message notifications. Running and workout clothes in general are also extremely comfortable and stylish. If you’re a shopper and love having clothes for every occasion, buying yourself a new running shirt or pair of shorts is a great way to reward yourself as you go. Do you have a friend or someone who runs? Ask them if they would want to run with you. Having someone else to run with can make the run easier and will help encourage you to stay on top of it!
I hope you all enjoyed my first entry! I will be writing every other week and hope you comment with questions and topics you’d like me to talk about. I hope to see you all in 8 weeks for the Penguin Run/Walk!