What is it about a movement that fascinates us? We all crave it because our bodies are designed for it.
It’s amazing when you meet runners. They usually carry themselves with confidence, happiness and health (lot’s of happy hormones running through their body). But a lot of my runner friends, and all the advertising geared for them, have manage to make running sound a lot more complicated than it is with all their PR’s, nutrition, and gear obsessions.
One of the reasons I love running as an exercise is for its simplicity. Nothing to it but to do it, as my husband would say. You get up early in the morning, lace up tennis shoes and run (if I’m planning on running first thing in the morning I’ll sleep in my workout clothes….shhh). By the way, you can also run during your lunch hour, or after the kids have gone to bed, indoors on a treadmill, roads, parks, tracks, etc.
But if you’ve never done it, you might be stumped where to start. The simplest program to begin running looks like this:
Walk two to three times a week.
Strengthen your lower body.
Alternate between running and walking. Keep adding running minutes each time.
There are many programs, apps and online resources for beginners that you could follow. (Check with your doctor if you have an injury or health condition before beginning any new exercise regime).
Anyone can become a runner. I know because I witnessed the making of one.
Katia Landeros (pictured above) is a runner who’ll be participating in the Mexico City Marathon for the second year in a row this coming August 30th. She is also one of my best friends and a virtual Lion Chase Race participant. But she hasn’t always been a runner. In fact, before running, her favorite pastime was destroying everyone in Mario Kart. In her two and a half years of running, she's participated in about 20 races. Including a Spartan race, and the Mexico City Marathon.
When did you start running?
About three years ago, I started at the beginning of 2013.
What was your motivation to begin running?
For me, it was a kind of therapy. I was going through a very emotional season of my life
So I began walking, but when I started jogging, I immediately noticed a special connection with myself. It became an activity where I experienced a deeper state of being, like meditation it became an outlet for my emotions.
Before you started running what was your fitness level?
I have always enjoyed movement. I enjoyed sports with my family, but only as a game. I wasn’t fit, and I wasn’t planning on formalizing my training.
How did you begin your training?
In the beginning, my uncle introduced me to a competitive runner. He shared exercises from his training with me. At the time, I also discovered some apps that helped me track my activity and encouraged me to run farther.
When did you decide to run your first marathon?
After running consistently for the first year, I noticed how far I had come in such a short time. So I decided to start training seriously. It became a motivation and a great challenge.
Besides running, how do you complete your training?
I’m part of a training team (Los Paquitos). Besides running together, we do calisthenic exercises for strength (squats, sit ups, planks, tricep dips, etc.). Occasionally, I'll ride my bike. For nutrition, I don’t follow a particular diet. I only make sure to add more complex carbohydrates before any long distance race.
What have you learned from running?
I learned about my limits. I’ve learned to enjoy the miracle that it is to breathe and to feel my legs and heart. I’ve learned to be happy with myself and that it’s never too late to do something you love. Sometimes your mind and heart can tell you to keep running, but if you get hurt, your body will decide next time how far you can go.
Running is a passion that caught me because it became part of my life, my happiness and my mental and physical health.