Training someone is a blend of fun and work (kind of like trail mix…fun when you get those chocolate bits and work all the times you’re hunting for them). Part cheerleader, part drill sergeant, I get to wear a multitude of hats when I meet up with J for an informal “training” session, all while running – whee!
I first want to applaud my inaugural trainee – she’s a real trooper. For someone who claims to have not run anywhere close to a mile since prior to her 21st birthday, she certainly has done a great job staying in shape with spinning. During her first run, she banged out two miles at a steady pace, and today, during her second one, she completed just over three. Anyone old dogs to running knows this is a feat in and of itself.
J’s biggest complaint in between her first two runs? Soreness. She self-prescribed stretching. First time runners be warned – you will be sore. It’s just something that happens; you get used to it. Honest engines. Mild muscle soreness will feel like blinking after awhile – you’re aware it’s there, but it is also definitely not noticeable.
What I do to alleviate soreness is hit the pool. Does that sound counter-productive? Exercise to relieve pain associated with exercise? I know. It’s a bit wacky. But swimming gets all your muscles moving, and without any sort of impact. It’s almost zen like to pull yourself through the pool, and you can feel your body relaxing. I look forward to my swims because my body looks forward to them – we know just how much better we’ll feel afterwards.
As an added bonus, swimming can really assist with your breathing. When you swim, you have to breath at regular intervals instead of whenever you gosh-darn feel like it (unless you’re the child of Ariel, the Little Mermaid) – the more you swim, the less panting you will be doing when you hit the pavement.
J’s only other concern is motivation to get out the door to run. She has a 5K road race coming up, and while she obviously has a talent for running, she’s at that phase where running hurts and it’s exhausting – double suck. What can I tell her (or anyone in this predicament?) besides this: take a deep breath, remember why you’re running in the first place, and bargain with yourself. Promise yourself you can watch Glee on Hulu, or that you can go window shopping and try on clothes you can’t afford. Make a to-do list and putting running on it just so you can cross if off. Think about how you can brag about it on Facebook.
I’m quite proud of J, even though I have zilch to do with her success as a runner – it’s all her. She’s given me motivation to agree to help more people run, and know that just by running next to them, I might be helping in some way. And I like helping.
On a different note entire, check out my “stirring” commentary about charity and the reward system rut we are stuck in at studentstuff here!