Transitioning from Walking to Running - the "need to knows"

For walkers who have an inkling that they might like to run...

I did not know one single runner when I started running. I was a walker and then I had a Dream, I call it "The Dream", the one that set me on the road to a running life. I went from a walker to a runner on a pretty quick and slippery slope, and my learning curve was huge...

Firstly… before you start. There are two things you should never be cheap about. Bras and shoes. I cannot tell you which ones to buy as we each have our own shapes and sizes, but Do Not cut corners on either of these. Get a good sports bra, a good one – even if you have no boobs – you just cannot run while holding them….. And don’t wear old shoes, even when you are starting out, it will put you off and you will end up with sore knees and people love to say running hurts your knees

Then… Start with a walk/run. You can write this down your times or just remember where you walk and where you run. I started by walk/running my usual hour walk and just increased the distance I could run within that distance each time until I was running the whole way. Then I slowly increased the distance I was running.

Then… STOP caring what others think of you. I remember I wouldn’t run anywhere anyone would see me to start with, there is one bridge where I almost Always see someone I know….. But You Must Get Over It. Sometimes I felt like someone who was fake running - running has taught me a lot about not caring what others think. Anyone who is negative about your running is usually either wishing they were as dedicated as you or they are insecure and don’t want you to make them feel lazy. Good friends love that you are doing something to benefit your mind and body. Now when I see someone I know I do a great big leap in the air because I'm loving life.

Then... Figure out how you are going to deal with chaffing. There are various creams on the market, and if you have a womanly body, you are going to need to get yourself some of it...

Then… Get a Plan. When I realised I could make it 5km without stopping I got addicted, without a plan and I randomly ran and ran and ran. This ended in a calf injury which put me out for a while, later on it happened again, and the another injury from trying to do tooooo much too fast, this is a repeat lesson I am only just beginning to learn. So, try to reign in your initial enthusiasm and get yourself some kind of a plan so you don’t overdo it. It doesn’t mean you are training for anything or that you are claiming to be some super athlete, it means you are sensible. This is a good preventative measure, and you can also track your progress, you will be amazed at yourself.

Then... ASK a Runner… Yes Please! If you know any runners, friends of friends – then Ask Them Stuff. Runners LOVE to talk about running. If they don’t, then ask me! I love to talk about running … really?

If all else fails and I make no sense…. here is some advice from Runners World on starting to run.

One last thing. I am not going to mention age in this post, as it is of no consequence. Well I wasn’t, but now I am. My grandma who is 89 can send a text message, she just learnt how… I hiked some of the Anapurna Circuit pass in Nepal with an 86 year old, and I just read about an 81 year old that ran a 3hr30 marathon and that is 17mins faster than I ran the one I have done… and I started running in my early 30’s (which is almost 40) and I haven't stopped improving yet. I firmly believe there are no limits on what you can do if you put your mind and heart to it.

Trust yourself, if you feel like this is something that will be good for you – then it probably will be and you will find your way….