How The Internet Helped My Running “Pagdadalaga”
As an introverted person, I don’t have or know of resource persons through local running groups or circle of friends to ask on how to do about starting to run. Most of the things that I apply in running I get from the internet where vast information from almost all topics can be found. I have been running as a form of exercise continuously for the past 3 years now. Though it may not be that long enough, I have, in this short span, compiled some internet web sites/blogs which became indispensable tools that in some way or another made my running more efficient, comfortable and fun.
When I was just contemplating on taking my first steps towards moving my long “legged” legs (Melanie M. is that you?) further and faster than just sauntering leisurely like a beauty queen that I imagine myself to be, the very first thing I need, naturally, are running shoes. High heels I have, but running shoes? What’s that? So search I did of the best brands and models. This is the site which I discovered and visited quite frequently after just to get acquainted with new models and how to measure up according to the author of the blog:
Running Shoes Guru
Reading the site, I got a grasp not only of the brands and models but also of the different kinds of shoes for different kinds of feet! I was taken aback by the complexity of choosing simple running shoes! It was a whole new universe altogether and I realized how naïve I was when it came to anything athletic! I almost surrendered and readied myself to sulk back to my couch. But I just cannot let go of my fervent interest in an activity that would rid myself of an unhealthy physical state simply because of my ignorance. So I was piqued. Each time I head for the couch, I brought my lappie with me. I came across this site among the deluge that comprehensively assessed my stride more than just the wet feet on the paper thing:
Mizuno Precision Fit
Equipped with an idea as to what type of shoes to buy based on my foot stride, I got myself a brand new Brooks neutral running shoes. Then off I went to pound the pavement (or chase ala Adelle, hehehe) in my spanking new rubber shoes. A few strides later and not even reaching the end of the block, I stopped panting my lungs out. This is not the experience I imagine myself to have. All the while I though running would just be a stroll in the park, just faster. It’s either I must be in the worst condition to begin with or I must be doing something wrong. So I took to the virtual world to find the answers. I was led to this site which gave me an idea on how to start correctly and conservatively:
Couch to 5K Running Plan
9 weeks later and I am off to running the entire 30 minutes like a gazelle that I am meant to be! Throughout this metamorphosis, I visited several more running sites teeming with erudite coaching information, training plans and stuffs. Here is my shortlist:
Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/ most specially the training plans, ask Coach Jenny, and the pace calculators
Cool Running http://www.coolrunning.com/ as mentioned before the C25K
About.Com http://running.about.com/ a treasure chest of running information
After the initiation of more than 2 months that saw me running continuously for a good measure of time, I am now very much interested in going further, faster and prettier! The last adverb is just a post script. Running my very first, officially sanctioned and paid for fun run at PSE Bull Run, the very first run of the following year three months after I started running, I observed my pictures from the official photographers and they are very ugly! The strain of running my very first 5K is painted all over my face and all my facebook friends noticed. It was not a good propaganda material for this new found endeavor of mine!
I need to look good in pictures despite the effort and the secret to this is either good acting or finishing strong. So once again search I did to look for easily digestible programs for newbies with the KISS (keep it simple stupid) theme taken into good account so as not to be intimidating while making me strong. And here’s what I found and educated myself with:
Hal Higdon Training Programs http://halhigdon.com/training/
The longest contributor for Runners World and the author of countless running books could not be wrong in his training programs designed for different levels of fitness and for different race categories.
Locally, during my “pagdadalaga” in running stage, I took to these sites to keep me intouch with the local running community, schedule of races and gossips (I am a sucker for one!).
This is the local “tambayan” of Pinoy running community most specially its forum where sometimes acrid exchanges occur. I tried to join in the conversation several times using the pseudonym RunningInDrag most specially when I found them interesting like race evaluation and criticism. Colorful running personalities got their 15 minutes here like Pagong and SCR who up until now I still do not know who they are! Maybe somebody out there can introduce me to them. Several running groups were likewise formed and running clinics and events held through this site like its very own Runfest.
Pinoy Fitness http://www.pinoyfitness.com/
Next to Takbo, this site generated a good traffic of visitors due to its readily accessible and complete list of local races. I became acquainted with its creator and administrator as well as its major contributor, Sir Jeff and Miss Mars, as they became members of my running group, the Wednesday Group of Runners.
SwimBikeRun http://www.swimbikerun.ph/ For anything else aside from running.
Several prominent local bloggers became my go to sites for their numerous free race kits being raffled off consistently. They are:
Kulit Runner http://kulitrunner.wordpress.com/ I first got to know Kulit Runner or Ms. Vimz as I endearly call her now, at the Takbo.ph forum. She usually answers questions regarding Run United races which are the most prestigious in the country. Then I visited her blog and learned about her numerous race kits giveaways. With the increasing registration fees of almost all races these days, her site became my frequent “tambayan” in hopes of winning a race kit. In fact, I had it in rss feed in my tool bar. After several free racekits won, I became acquainted with her and became friends.
The Bull Runner http://thebullrunner.com/ Madam Jaymie Pizarro became a major force in the local running scene by providing an avenue where newbie runners can become marathoners by enrolling themselves in a 3-4 months training program called The Bull Runner Dream Marathon. Many aspiring Filipino runners are graduates of this program. I myself am one of them. I belong to the third batch. I experienced running my very first marathon pampered and well supported in this training program making it unforgettable and fun. Many of my batch mates are now untramarathoners.
Many running techniques spurted to address various running injuries as a result of wrong foot strike, running stride or style. After leveling up prematurely to 10K in a race that featured the Skyway, I found myself nursing a knee injury. No doubt a case of “too much too soon”. Looking for means by which to alleviate this condition, I came across two particular camps espousing almost identical thought anchored in midfoot running. They are Chi Running whose local proponent is Sir Lit Unrubia and Pose Running by Dr. Nicolas Romanov
Chi Running http://www.chirunning.com/
Get in touch with Sir Lit Onrubia at his web site and know the various chi running clinics schedules – http://www.forwardleanrunning.com/chirunning.html
Pose Running http://www.posetech.com/pose_method/
I learned how to do this through Youtube. You know the drill. Hehehe….
Running techniques espousing midfoot running always require a fast feet turn over to catch your natural fall due to gravity upon leaning forward from the legs as you run. The ideal speed is 180 steps (90 per leg) per minute. On the onset, in order to know how fast this is, we must need a metronome, a gadget that gives out sound beats to that rate. Since I don’t want to spend a penny on such noisy gadget, I looked for music, since I cannot run without listening to one anyway, with beats in that required range. I came across this site by DJ Steveboy who remixes music to diverse beats:
DJ Steveboy Podrunner
One of the most irritating things that can happen to a runner lost in his/her adrenalin pumped lala land is shoelaces getting untied. It is a frequent sight in most races to see runners bending over by the side walk to retie their shoelaces. Double tying it produces a big, ugly clump that is equally disturbing to a running diva. And even that do untie! So what to do? Study the surgeon’s knot and I tell you untied laces will be a thing of the past!
Ian’s Shoelace Site – numerous types of knots are featured here, even fancy ones.
These are but a few of the numerous web sites offering numerous helpful tips that can weather a newbie runner out of the forest of ignorance and doubt and into the super highway of intellectual bliss. Well not that extreme really but compared to the dark ages of not so long ago when almost, if not all, information can be had at either the local library, books and magazines, fellow runners that a couch potato would not dare thread a mile out of his/her comfort seat to gather such.
Most, if not all, of us runners have our own personal favorite sites to visit whenever some information is needed or sought for. Hope you would care to share through a comment here.