Learning to run

Recently, I’ve taken up running. I challenged myself to a 5k race in March, and to train I’m using the Couch to 5k training program.

I couldn’t believe how hard it was.

The program is simple – you run longer and longer each time, until your body is accustomed to running for 35 minutes at a time. The first week has you pairing one-minute runs with one-minute walks for 16 minutes. By the third week, you’re running 3-5 minutes at a time. By the end of the seventh week, you’re up to a single 25-minute run.

In the past – as many of us have – I’d have accepted this 5k challenge by jumping right into a 5k run. Just do it. No guts, no glory. No shins, either, as they’d have died the next day.

In running, there’s no concept of all or nothing. Instead, you must respect time. You must earn your place. And if you do, running is no longer hard. It just becomes part of what you do. It finds a niche in your routine and takes root.

There’s a life lesson in there, somewhere.

This was lovingly handwritten on February 8th, 2012