Swelling to the Jammiez: Running with GL!
Hey guys, GL here. Today I am writing to you about helping you with your own physical and mental fitness. With 2015 upon us and resolutions (or lack thereof) aplenty, most people have a goal they wish to achieve but have no avenue to pursue their goal. I am here today in this edition of Swellin’ to the Jammiez to present one avenue to help you achieve those goals: running.
I am not a trained physician, coach, and/or medical professional and I do not suggest you hold me to those standards. Regardless of those facts, I have spent the last 9 years of my life training for and completing 24 full marathons (26.2 mile run), 2 half marathons (13.1 mile run), 2 full Ironman triathlons (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run), and 1 half Ironman triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run). Having completed these races does not make me an expert on running. It has however provided me with a large range of training/social experiences that helped me cope with both the physical and mental roller coaster that we all call life.
I am sure you are skeptical, “Why should I run? I never run!” This may be true. For myself, getting into running with the goal of completing a full marathon was seriously daunting task. I am not here to convince you to traverse 26.2 miles any time in the near future. What I do suggest is that you consider the following reasons for why running should be your go to for all your physical/mental needs.
Too often when we discuss the benefits of running, we are focused strictly on a physical perspective. I would argue that the mental benefits of running far outweigh the physical (Note: I am not saying that the physical benefits of running any time/distance are not beneficial because they most certainly are! A sedentary lifestyle is not the most appropriate way maintain your health and this is where running can help). So how can the mental aspects of running outweigh the physical? Firstly, you can do it outside. Since you are reading this site during the day, it is highly unlikely that you are doing so outside. I have never heard anyone that said they hate being outdoors. Secondly, completing even the smallest amount of running makes you feel like a totalbadass/10. Don’t believe me? We will return to this later. Thirdly, you are along to think. How often do you set aside time during the day to lose yourself in thought? I know, I know, no one ever sets aside time to think. We all get caught up in an endless cycle of clicking through the internets as if we are searching for something valuable that we ultimately never find.
So what do you need to get started in 2015 as a budding runner? Well aside from pair of pants and shirt (mind you, this is climate dependent) the only thing you need is a pair of shoes. Shoes! That’s it! What other God forsaken self indulgent sport do you need just one item for? Glorious, I know! Side note: as a beginner please ignore any information a minimalist/barefoot runner/walker may give you (they are out of their minds). As a beginner all you need is shoes. You do not a gym membership, head band, moisture wicking shirt, spandex, glasses, GPS watch, iPod, camelback, fanny pack, Under Armour shirt, and/or other needless expensive bull shit. Just shoes. Put them on!
How do you get started with running? With just 5 minutes. Start small. Hell, 5 minutes is a long first run! Do this as many times in the first week as you feel comfortable. Once, twice, three times is plenty. The first time will be the worst feeling, by the second you will feel noticeably better. How fast should you go? NOT FAST AT ALL. Remember, I am an advocate for the mental benefit of running and not showing everyone in the gym/neighborhood/wherever that you are a total douche and can run as fast as Yngwie Malmsteen’s fingers. You will want to run/jog/waddle just to the point where it is mildly uncomfortable but never totally uncomfortable. In the beginning, you will likely be playing catch up with your body and you will feel winded. Don’t give up! It’s only 5 minutes. You waste 10 times that amount of time per day listening to your trve black/doom/noise/power/hair/derp/thrash metal band. Hang in there. The first time is the worst; each successive time is easier by several magnitudes.
Things you should do to increase your success/focus as a beginning runner:
- Do not focus on the distance. At first it is only about the time. Distance can come later.
- Do not run around other people. It is horrible distracting.
- Do not run with music. It is unsafe if near traffic, also: unplugging is important!
- Do not pound your feet. Glide across the ground!
- Do not kick your feet all the way to your ass. Glide! Be efficient!
- Do not run as fast as you can to impress people. Remember that in the end no one is impressed.
- Don’t focus too much on stretching. People we spend 40 minutes stretching and 5 minutes running laps should be embarrassed (this is a real thing, people)
- Don’t waste your money on gimmicky products for running. The glory of running is its simplicity.
- If you are too sore the next day to even move than you over did it. MODERATE levels of effort only. Running hard as nails is not fun and people who start off as runners who want to sprint are wasting their time.
- Tell everyone you know that you are now a runner. Then tell them how long you can run!
Excuses for not running that do not count:
- “I get shin splints”. Do not pound your feet when running. GLIDE! GLIDE! GLIDE!
- “My legs are too short/long”. I am 6’5” and I do not want to hear it.
- “I am not a runner”. Not yet!
- “I do not have time”. But you have time to waste on here, right?
- “I am not in enough shape to run”. Then walk/waddle/jog!
Progressing from a “beginner” takes time. Most of the running you will be completing will be getting your joints, lungs, and muscles that stabilize your knees/ankles/hips into shape. The mental aspects of losing yourself in thought will not be totally apparent at first, mostly due to the small amount of time you are running. This can be alleviated by adding little amounts of time to your excursions every couple runs and when you feel necessary. If any of you have questions/interest in further information you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also available to develop running schedules if you are interested in completing a certain distance/triathlon in a certain amount of time. Be safe out there!
Note: if you must listen to music I very much recommend that you listen to music that gives you “chills”. “Chills” meaning songs or artists that make your hair crawl. For me that includes Gojira, Bury Your Dead, and Conquering Dystopia. You will feel like you are running on cloud 9! Also, if you want to get jacked up: watch this video.
So how about you guys? Have any of you trained (or not trained) for a running event before? If so, sound off below!