Thursday, July 31, 2008

In The Beginning...Sort of!

After 4 months of running, I am still going strong. I plan to run in a 5k on September 13 and a 10k on September 20. I've been training for over a month and can now run as far as 8 miles without stopping. Man, you could not have told me I would be able to run like this. See, I grew up sprinting and was known for being one of the fastest, if not the fastest, kids in the neighborhood. I never ran track although I wish I had done so now.

So, how did I come to running? Well, like many people I set goal to exercise 3 times a week. I got budget approval from my wife to purchase exercise equipment in 2007 and in March I decided to buy a $1500 treadmill. My original goal was to walk on the treadmill 3-4 times per week. When I started walking, I quickly discovered I had to move my arms vigorously to reach my heart rate in the target range appropriate for my age (135-145 bpm). Soon after I began pumping my arms up and down, I discover I need to add wrist weights to stay in my target heart rate range. After the wrist weights, I added multiple inclines from 1% to 7%. I even increased the speed as far as I could without actually running and I continued to struggle to reach my target heart rate range. As you can see, my body was gradually getting more acclimated to walking and I had to make a decision. I could either continue to modify what I was doing or I could start running.

After more than a year of walking and making adjustments to reach my target heart rate range, I finally decided to just RUN! I started running 1 mile and gradually increased the distance until I was running 3 miles several times per week. Because I am over 40, I consulted with an exercise expert (my sister) who gave me some tips and pointed me to some very cool websites that I will share with you too. To see how I have progressed and what my limits are, I track my daily running statistics including time, distance, average pace, speed, average BPM, BMI, calories burned. Along the way I set a goal to get my average pace down below 10 minutes per mile (I started running at over 15 minutes per mile!) I can now say that I am able to run 9.5 minute miles comfortably. I have been known to run 8.5 minute miles on occasion.

My next goal is to run in a 5k and, possibly, a 10k in September. Wish me well...


yaya said...

Good job and good luck Daddy...maybe if i actually stop being lazy...i'll startin doing

William Daniels, PMP said...

You can always start out easy and work your way up. The biggest problem with exercise is that we all think we have to start out working as hard as possible on day one. That's not realistic. Remember, I started walking (slowly) on a treadmill for over a year before I began running.

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