Stop Complicating Running

Posted on June 03, 2015 by Mary Patterson

The Minimalist Runner: For the Beginner or Just Burnt Out Runner

Keep is simple was something taught to me from a very young age. I remember my middle school basketball coach teaching us the K.I.S.S. method – Keep It Simple Stupid. The last word may not be so P.C. these days, but it worked. It got our attention and we applied the concept to what we were doing. I have learned to apply this method to many aspects of life. Whenever I have a feeling of being overwhelmed, I force myself to slow down take a breath and think about the simple steps that will help me move forward.

I apply this concept heavily when it comes to fitness and nutrition. The biggest obstacle I see people facing is over complicating things. We find excuses about why we cant do things and build all these obstacles around us that really don’t exist.

Running is one of the simplest fitness activities there is (next to walking). But before we even begin we get ourselves all worked up…

  • How should I breathe?
  • How long should I go for?
  • What should my heart rate be?
  • What is a good mile time?
  • What are the best sneakers?
  • What is the best GPS tracker?
  • Socks? What are the best socks?
  • Run more with slower miles?
  • Run less with fast miles?
  • How many days a week should I be running?
  • Heel strike? Forefoot strike?

Amongst every question are hundreds of options, which make it overwhelming and confusing. There are many different training methods,many different gadgets and a wide selection of gear. Don’t let all of these options stop you from getting started.

How to get started?

  1. Go to a good Running Store allow them to assess and fit you for proper foot attire. Allow them to recommend socks while you are there. Yes, spend the money on the socks even just for 1-2 pair.
  2. Go out the door and start moving. Start slow and steady and focus on steady breathes in and out.
  3. When you feel your heart rate or your breath going out of control or if your legs feel weak, walk a bit or slow down. When you feel ready, run again.
  4. When you think you have had enough – go for 3 -5 more minutes then stop. Those extra minutes will push your body and mind out of the comfort zone just enough.

If you clear the gadgets and the clutter (at least in the beginning), you will learn how to listen to your body. You will learn when you are ready to run a little further and maybe a little faster. Once you have a feel for your body, think about adding a gadget or investing in some good running shorts/pants. Slowly build from there.

But Keep It Simple and start the foundation. Clear the voices and chatter and all the advice you will get from everyone who has run at one time in their life or who has been running for years. Listen to your body and progress from there.

I also like to give the same advice to an overwhelmed experienced runner. Every so often, leave the watch, GPS, music and plan at home and just go out there and have fun.

To end with a little fun, I thought I would share my 4 Running Tools:

  1. Sneakers (a good pair)
  2. Cell Phone (music and GPS all in one)
  3. Head Phones
  4. Flip Belt

This is all I need for a good run. The top 3 are things I already have and use even if I wasn’t running. The Flip Belt was a recent addition gifted by my husband. I will say it has been perfect and has helped me maintain my minimalist approach. We call it the modern day fanny pack!

Cheers to a Simple and Fun Run!

Posted in Charleston, Daniel Island, fitness, Run


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