Running has always felt natural to me. I’ve been running for fun since I was a kid. I remember I’d go run to store and time myself…just for fun. When I used to do sports, I’d enjoy the running as much as the sport myself. I think this the main reason why I enjoyed playing soccer because you are running a lot of time.
Even though I used run a lot when I was younger, I got lazy during my college and then working years. There’s been periods when I’d run for a few weeks, and then come to a complete sudden stop. These intervals got harder and harder as the body aged.
Resumed My Running
(Actually, I had been going to the gym. But I was not consistent at all. I’d go for one or two weeks and then stop all together. My typical pattern over the years.)
This time around I wanted it to be different. I found out what I lacked most was: consistency.
Consistency has become the key to continue with my running habit, be healthy and stay healthy. But I do it main because it makes me feel awesome! It also makes me feel happy and helps me learn.
Happy developers develop better code.
Another valuable thing I discovered was pedometers. Pedometer apps such as RunKeeper and Endomondo help you keep track of your exercises. My skeptical senses started to tingle and omitted them at first.
“Pffftt, I don’t want an app keeping tracking of me”, I thought.
In reality, I never used one before because I didn’t know how fast or long I was running. I got a little self-concious. But how can you measure progress if you don’t keep track of it?
After installing RunKeeper and going for a run, I was pleasantly surprised. I was doing over 2mi quite easily. (Remember, I had been running since end of April but didn’t want to track my runs).
This was a tremendous morale boost! It turned into a game where I’d just see how much farther (and faster) I could go. I never set any real goals like I want to run 10miles this week or anything like that.
I kept it simple: come home, change clothes, warm up and run. Sometimes I’d have great runs, while others I just wanted to get back home as soon as possible. I began to enjoy each run and even discovered some great places near my neighborhood.
Running 5Ks (and then some)
RunKeeper helped me track my process. Overtime, I noticed I was doing 5Ks with ease. I was quite surprised and very happy. This was another morale booster.
What was the secret? No secret. It was good ol’ consistency.
I’m sure you struggled at learning some language like C# at first. But after writing in that language every day, you got pretty good at it without noticing.
It was never my goal to run a 5K each time I went out. It just happened due to practice, practice, practice…and consistency.
It’s hard to be bad at something you practice very often.
My longest run has been 7.48mi, or 12K. I never aimed for that goal on that day. It was just a beautiful Saturday morning in June, I began to run and didn’t want to stop.
Bad news everybody
Unfortunately, I’ve not been safe from injury. In the past, any injury, or small amount of pain, (ahem: excuse) would be enough justification to stop running.
This time around was different. I got back up after my injury to run 2mi. Eventually, I’d be back to run 5Ks consistently.
Today, I’m back to my bare minimum of running a 5K each time I go out. My next goal is to run 7.5Ks and then 10Ks. No rush though. I’ll just continue to practice and push myself 1k at the time.
Practicing for the sake of practice
George Leonard – Mastery
A podcast, consistency and a pedometer resumed my running. I’d dare to say they intensified one of my greatest habits.
It’s pretty cool to keep track of my runs. I treat it like a game and a personal challenge. I don’t have concrete goals on distances or speed. I just listen to my body and go running.
One thing I tell myself each time I go for my run is: “Have fun”.
Are you having fun yet? Let’s us know in the comments below.