A little more than a month ago, starting to live with some health problems that are not uncommon for a 60 year old man, one of my daughters suggested that maybe I should get back into running – something that had crossed my mind as well. I used to run a good bit, coached high school track and cross country, and even have a couple of half marathons under my belt, so it is something that I do have a love for. I have always preached to my athletes that running is a life-long activity, so it was time to start up again.
Running is a sport or activity that you can grow to love or do it the wrong way and really hate and quit it. Anyone starting out too quickly will especially learn to hate it, so even though I have coached the sport, I decided to look up a program that will help me meet my goals without burning out or injuring this older body that I am learning to live with. I have a Garmin watch and monitor my steps etc. each day, and with it comes a Garmin Coaching Program. My goal right now it to run a 5k without stopping with little difference to the time (even though around 30 to 35 minutes would be great). This is an 11 week program that slowly gets you hopefully to that goal. After that I would like to begin another half-marathon training to hopefully someday fulfill a long time dream of running a half marathon at a civil war battle field – either Gettysburg or Antietam.
This program started out with a 5 minute benchmark run – and I am not afraid to admit – it was hard! That is kind of embarrassing since I used to do training runs of 5 miles or more three to four times a week. Life took over, administration in a high school took over, stress took over, the pandemic took over, and my body has suffered. It is time to fix that and I am glad to say, I do believe I am on may way. I am currently in week 5 of the 11 week program, and WOW – could I see a difference already this week!
This program starts out with 5 minute warmups, 5 minute runs with a 5 minute optional run, then a 5 minute cool down, and GRADUALLY ups those minutes. It is 3 workouts a week with rest days in between. On those rest days, I many times take a 2 to 3 mile hike with my wife. Soon the bicycles will be used as well. This week I had a 15 minute run on Monday with a 5 minute optional run (which I usually try to do), a 15 minute run today, and another 15 minutes with an optional 5 later this week. Next week that goes up to 20 minutes with an optional 10 for at least one of the workouts.
You don’t have to have an exercise watch or other expensive devices to do this. Many programs out there can be done without that, just look – they are free and out there. Do invest in a good pair of running shoes though, and even ask for help if you don’t know what kind to get. Your knees, legs, and feet will appreciate you for doing that!
As I said earlier, I am amazed at the progress I am currently seeing. This mornings 15 minute run was a breeze! I was not huffing and puffing, was able to think of other things than how much it hurts (where the idea for this blog post came), and really felt good at the end of the cool down. It is so nice to get back into this and see the progress that can be made —– even for a 60 year old with higher blood pressure than it should be, and about 30 pounds of weight that will eventually go away as well!
Soooo – what’s this all about. One – I hope someone can see this and realize it is possible, even if you haven’t run before. Just find a program and stick to it. You may think it is too hard – or even too easy at first, but stick to it. Find a good program like Garmin, with professional coaches, that are research based and peer reviewed training programs that work! Two – I plan on writing this entry into my blog weekly in order to watch my progress personally, or maybe even inspire one or two others to do it as well! I enjoy reading diaries of others who have set goals and are working towards them. This world really needs to teach our younger generations how to do that and get away from social media and those other distractions that are out there. This is how my wife and I have been successful so far – by setting goals, and is how anyone can be! (By the way the title does say 5 of 11 but I haven’t posted about the other weeks, but I wish I had 🙂 )
Thank you for taking the time to read my posts. Please feel free to like, comment, or follow. You help me to justify the time and effort I place in this!
Steve – aka Countrypap