Stage 1: Couchpotato

Welcome to the guide “Running for Couchpotatoes”

And thank you for your donation to the European Food Banks Federation!
This is how I started as well in October 2017. The thought to start with a new sport, especially when you’re not 20 anymore can be daunting. But then we face daunting tasks in work too and we master them eventually by doing one step at a time with patience and preserverance.

To get you into the mood, I’d recommend to read this blog article about the time when I started out on this journey, here. It also gives you an overview of things to consider.

This is the right entry level if you haven’t done any kind of sports in the last 5 or more years. Your focus was always on your work or other things in life, but not on yourself and your health.
Maybe you’re overweight and feel like you have more fat than muscle tissue and you really can’t imagine that you could become a runner of all things.

The less fit you are now, the slower you have to start and the better you need to prepare. Think of it like taking on a new topic at work that you don’t know a lot about. You wouldn’t present it within 1 week to the board, would you?
You’d learn more about it day by day, gather experience with it and you’d prepare a presentation about it all the much harder. This is no different.

Goal: Get up and start using those legs until you can run without walking in between for 30 minutes straight.

Before you start with this program I’ll say it loud and clear:
All you really need to run is a pair of shoes, and some don’t even need that. But this program is based on recommendations that are most likely to help you achieve the goal and it is tailored for business women like me. Nobody forces you to listen to all the advice or follow it)

Preparation

Ask your doctor. I confess I did not, but it is a good idea to check whether she/he thinks you can take up running. Ask for a cardiogram under strain, that has the nice side-effect that you will find out what your current top heart rate is, which will help you later to set up customized heart-rate zones on your tracker and know your anaerobic threshold. Also, much like people going on a diet shoot pictures, you can do a before – after comparison.

What you need (gear & clothing)

  1. Shoes!
  2. Running Clothes
  3. Headphones
  4. Tracker & Heart Rate Measurement
  5. Running Apps

What you need to prepare (guided running programs)

  1. Guided Running Program
  2. Music
  3. Preparation before a run
  4. Things to do after a run

Challenges you may encounter and how to overcome them

  1. Breathing difficulties and a stitch in the side
  2. Pain in the knees, the achilles sinews or other places
  3. Lack of motivation
  4. Inability to run regularly
  5. Annoying weather conditions
  6. Running during ‘that’ time of the month or when you are sick
  7. Keeping it up during business trips or holidays