After getting some advice on where to begin when taking up running, I met with fitness trainer Emily Kunnen to get my own training plan to go from running zero miles to five.
â??In running, we specifically train you for certain exercises that will help keep you strong to be able to do the event that you've signed up to do,â?? explained Emily.
Emily said it typically takes about eight weeks to fully train for a five mile run, and she had me running three days a week building up one mile at a time as the weeks progressed.
She said strength training is also crucial because it keeps you strong enough to complete the run, so I also did repetitions of a variety of leg exercises.
â??You use all the major muscle groups in your lower body as well as your upper body when you're running, and you want to make sure that they're strong,â?? said Emily. â??So, not doing the proper strength training could actually cause injury as well.â??
Emily also said to breathe in through your nose and out your mouth, land midfoot, keep your eyes up, and stay hydrated when you run.
She also told me it's OK to walk if I need to and, most of all, to have fun with it.
â??I always discourage first-time runners from just setting out and setting paces the first time, or setting their expectations a little bit too high because, really, if you go out and you have fun doing it, you're going to do it again,â?? she said.
I spent the next few weeks working through Emily's training plan for me, building up my leg strength and endurance to run the full five miles.
In the final part of my series, I participate in the Canal Run, and I'll tell you how I did.