The first time that I really went for a run, I was completely exhausted after only 8 minutes. My throat was aching, I was breathless, my legs were shaking... and yet, I knew from that very moment that, one day, my name would appear in the list of long-distance runners: Running had me hooked.
Just the thought of the satisfaction that I get from a day's running brings a smile to my face. And, I must say that many of my more pleasant memories are somehow linked to long-distance running. Any pain that I may have suffered along the way has been more than compensated by those memories and the many brief moments spent in the company of Health-Concerned People. This is because running not only develops your physical condition, but also broadens your acquaintances.
If you have managed to read this far and you agree with the above, then you may well be already part of the club of Long-Distance Runners.
Level 0 - Starting from scratch
It does not matter whether you have never entered a run or if your level is low, or even if you are just a beginner, there is always a first time for everything and in this section you will find a great deal of supporting material that may make things clear for you. Today, start your own runner’s diary and write down, along with the date, the exercises that you have done, keeping a record of the distance covered and time taken. This will greatly help you to assess your progress and improve your morale.
|25.05.2002||Long distance - 12 km||5:01||1:00:12||Hot.|
|27.05.2002||Series- 12x100 en 20'' R100 + Calent. + Enfr.||---||0:45:00||Strong|
Wear comfortable clothes according to the season; do not wear a full tracksuit in the summer! Usually, a t-shirt (or a sweatshirt, if it is cold) and shorts is about everything you will need. Slip on some decent running shoes (do not try to go for cheap alternatives) and head for the park or some quiet route free from traffic.
According to your physical condition, age, weight, gender, skills, etc. you should see some progress following the training plan that I am about to show you. The basic step is to start at a walking pace and, yes, I know, it is boring. You want to run and I am asking you to walk, but I am afraid that there is no other option; remember that you are starting from scratch. If you do not have any basic physical condition at all, then start by walking. Do so at a good pace and not as if you were enjoying the view during a walk at the seafront or "window shopping", gradually increasing the length of time and pace of your walks. I reckon that when you manage to walk for a whole hour everyday without suffering from cramps or feeling that your legs are tired, you will be ready to jump to the next step. Probably you will realise this for yourself because, against my advice, you may have tried sprinting sporadically between your long walks.