Friday, 9 March 2012

Learning To Run, Step 1: Walking

Weeks 1 to 6.

There's more than a little truth in the saying "We must learn to walk before we can run."

Assuming you are beginning from a base of total inactivity (as I did), then the first stage is to train yourself to walk.  This is one of the things that you will need a lot of willpower for because, and there's no getting away from this, it's dull.

Choose a manageable distance that you can reasonably expect to do at least three times a week.  For me, the daily commute at the time was perfect.  It was about a mile (1.5k) each way.  Better still, it was uphill on the way there.  That meant that I could put in the effort first thing in the morning and get the easy part on the way back.

I made sure I did this at least three times a week for six weeks and progress was very slow.  For the first month or so, I would be arriving at work overheated and out of breath.  It seemed like there was no real progress being made and I really did question whether it was worth continuing.  But after five weeks, the benefits began to slowly become evident and it was encouraging enough to continue.

I have to emphasise:  The gains were small and incremental.  There was no heroic Single Bound with which Jack Leapt Free.  You just have to have patience and stay the course.