Tips for a Beginner Runner – from a Beginner Runner

This has basically turned into a pregnancy blog over the last couple months. I didn’t mean for that to happen.  My fitness goals have obviously changed with becoming pregnant. I am basically just aiming to get moving five times a week. About a month ago I signed up for the Seawheeze Half Marathon. I am so looking forward to running outside again. I have been meaning to write this post since I saw this comment: (sorry it took me so long)

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I still barely consider myself a runner. I am definitely not hard core enough to lace up during the winter months (pregnant or not). The treadmill is always an option, but not my preference. Here’s how I got started:

1. Download an app or buy a running watch: I started out using Map My Run, switched to Nike+ Running and eventually bought the Garmin Forerunner 110 (second-hand).

2. Get out there! Get the app going and start running. I started out with zero expectations. I just wanted to get an idea of how fast and far I could run comfortably. I ran for about 30 minutes with an average pace of about 5:50 min/km (9:23 min/mile). I am not sure if I paused the app for walking breaks? I feel like I may have. Don’t do that.

IMG_08503. Set a goal. I am big on goal setting and am very competitive with myself. I found that each run I wanted to get a little faster or go a little further. I would set speed and/or distance goals each time I ran, never increasing my distance by more than 1 km a week. I was about to start speed training when I found out I was pregnant.

4. Set a schedule / have a plan. I planned to run twice a week with a long run on Saturdays, plus cross training. This was just what worked for me. I am by no means qualified to create training plans.

5. Sign up for a race. I signed up for the Yorkville 5K and the Toronto Zoo 10K. My goal was to finish the 5K in under 25 minutes. I finished in 25:16.2. I was also 6 weeks pregnant. I tried to keep an even pace and made sure I was comfortably breathing. I did sprint for the last half km or so. I did a ton of research and talked to my doctor to make sure my baby was safe.

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After this race I was addicted. I ran the Zoo 10K a few weeks later. I finished with a new PR, 58:39! Technically the first time running 10K, so a PR was guaranteed. Average pace was pretty close to where I started, 9:13 min/mile. I wasn’t too concerned with my time at this point. I am happy to have a time to beat though.

I plan on following a stricter training plan to train for the Seawheeze Half rather than just kind of winging it. There are tons of training plans of the internet. I found a few 12 week Beginner to Half schedules with long runs on Saturdays. My goal is to finish in under 2 hours. Maybe this is crazy? 

Hope this helps! Good luck and Happy Running!

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