In junior high and high school I had a gym teacher who demanded that we run for miles with essentially no guidance on form, how to train properly for running distance, or how to stay hydrated. She was constantly annoyed with me because I couldn’t breath well while running and because my knees started hurting really badly after even short runs. She was always convinced I was faking it. She never coached me on how to run without hurting my knees, or offered a plan to build up my cardio to the point were I could run long distances.
She made me hate running.
Until recently I never really focused much on cardio because I just didn’t see the benefit. Now that I’m getting into my 30s my doctor is starting to badger me about heart health. So I figured it was time to try out running again.
The first few weeks were pretty brutal and my right knee immediately went into major pain mode for around 3 weeks. For some reason, my stride was really agitating my MCL. I backed down to just putting the treadmill on a 7 incline and walking at 3.3 miles an hour. I did this for about a month.
Once the knee calmed down I changed some things. I got some real running shoes, and light clothes. I figured out that long strides where you land with your heel are out. Have to land almost flat footed. Also, you have to try and pick up your feet as little as possible (without dragging them) to reduce impact to the knee. You also want your foot to contact the ground with your knee directly above.
3 days ago I finally reached a goal of running for 1 mile without slowing down. This is sort of a big deal for me as it’s something that I don’t think I’ve ever done. I repeated it yesterday as well and it was actually a little bit easier despite running it faster.
Ultimately my goal is to run 3 miles a day in 30 minutes, and I’m currently doing a little over 2 miles a day with a combination of walking and running.
I’ve actually gotten to the point where I really look forward to working out, which is a little freaky for me. Though I must say that watching episodes of the wire while I’m working out has helped a lot. Not sure I could have gotten this far in the gym.