September 14, 2010

How long does it take to start running?

Getting fit enough to run 20 to 30 minutes comfortable is not as hard as you may think. Susan Griffith, one of the two top running coaches I interviewed for my first book Running Shoes Are a Girl's Best Friend has been teaching a six-week Learn to Run course for years.

Susan says she has seen big transformations take place in this clinic. Many beginners can’t run 100 metres when they start the course and are amazed at their improvement in less than two months. “I see them often shocked that they are able to run 3km or 4km without stopping by the end of week six. At the start of the clinic they never believed they could do it. That’s the most powerful thing that happens,” Susan says in Chapter 2 of Running Shoes Are a Girl's Best Friend.

While I didn't seek guidance from a professional coach like Susan, my experience when I began running from scratch in 1996 was very similar. That first five minutes, which was all I could do that day, was a hard slog. Despite the fact that it was tough I felt good afterward, a sense of accomplishment even from that small outing.

That helped motivate me to keep trying to run short stretches regularly and before I knew it, I was able to run more than an hour. I don't remember whether it took weeks or a few months before I reached that goal. And that is not really the point - the key is that when I first struggled through that five minutes I never even considered the possibility that I might run longer than an hour comfortably.

If you'd like to read more of Susan's advice and her experience as a coach and a life-long runner, please go to the free document on Scribd here.

I love running and truly believe that Running Shoes Are a Girl's Best Friend!

Before you start any exercise program, of course always check with your GP first!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Margreet,
An interesting post again.

This is something a lot of non-runners could do with reading. Far too many people don't try because they perceive things to be too difficult or too slow.

It is all a matter of desire and commitment to making a change. It is then fair to infer that the same applies for experienced runners too!