This was addressed to Doree, the Editor In Chieftrix of Running This Town, but since I’m wired on Pepsi Max (it’s extreme) and I’m a chronic email answerer, I thought I’d chip in. As well, I used only to run on the treadmill because I hadn’t hit on my present ingenious solution to keep my glasses on my face while running, and so I had to take off my glasses to run and, yeah, I’m super blind without my glasses so of course I couldn’t run on the street. Or, well, I could but I wouldn’t be running for long!
OK, for one, let me suggest a book for you: Chi Running. I really favor the author’s approach to running. Effortless running! It’s a good thing. I’ve tried to craft a stride that minimizes knee pain. (I get it, frequently; less so now that I am an effortless runner.) Having a nice forward lean (pretend there’s a rope attached to your chest on one end and a two story window on the other end that’s pulling you forward), a quick pace, and light footfalls perpendicular to and directly under your shoulders. Keep your arms moving parallel to your feet—forward. Don’t swing them side to side like a hula-hooper. There are lots of things to consider, but of course the more you run the better your form becomes because your body will adapt to this new motion and get more efficient. For real.
OK, as well, you need to adopt a training plan. Right, that’s your question. OK. This is a reasonably good beginner running plan. I would also advise something like this: Get a baseline. You can run a mile? Great! So now run a mile. Take a day off. Rest as much as you can. Run another mile. Rest. Try not to run more than three days a week starting off. You can slowly increase your days up to about six, but I wouldn’t more than six days a week. (Right.) Generally, you will end up running on consecutive days, so remember that you are prone to injury when you’re tired. For instance, most marathoners get injured the day or two after the race when they don’t realize how run down they are and they injure themselves. So don’t do that.
The golden rule for increasing your workout is to add no more than 10% of your total mileage from the previous week to this week’s mileage. If you ran five miles total last week, then run five and a half miles this week. That seems like a glacerially pace, but life is many days, etc. Another good thing to remember: If you get injured, have an odd ache, or think you’ve strained yourself too much, then you must rest.
If you do get injured, there’s a handy acronym for you:
Rest your injured part, ice it at first, add compression (ACE bandage), and elevate it. Of course, rest is the most important component. When I was running about 25 miles a week, I would frequently at work have my leg up on the desk with an ice pack on my knee. I was basically totally fine to run just about every day, but I found I had to ice my knee(s) to keep going. I think that’s fine. I also wear a tibia band, which is like applying tape to the bottom part of your knee, under the cap.
Also, have fun. Be safe. Running is awesome.