Tips For Starting A Running Program

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Scott:  I'm talking with Dick Beardsley here today. Happy to have you, and
no doubt a running marathon icon. You run a lot of races still. You
organize a lot of races. If somebody wants to get started in running, and a
lot of people say, "I just can't do it," how do you get started and take
those first couple steps?

Dick:  Well, that's the thing, Scott, is getting started. That's the
biggest and hardest part of a running program is getting started. A lot of
people get all gung-ho after the first of the year. They're going to change
their lives and get healthy again, and they start on this program, but
they're not willing to go from point A to point B. They want to go from
point A to point Z right away.

What happens is they end up getting injured or the soreness kicks in and
they're thinking, "Gosh, my friend says this running makes me feel so good
and I'm more tired and sore than I've ever been." It takes about six weeks
to kind of get over that hump.

Scott:  Okay.

Dick:  Once you get over that hump, then you start realizing that it does
make you feel better, that you do have more energy, but the key is to start
out slow. If you haven't done anything for a while, start out walking and
then just brisk walking. Then alternate a little walking and running. If
you do it slow and take it a little bit at a time, pretty soon you'll be
doing more running than walking and then next thing you know you're signing
up for the local 5K and, boom, you're hooked.

Scott:  A lot of people this time of year - and we're doing this interview
the third day of January, so the New Year's resolutions are still in high
gear. When you see people starting out, what do you notice? I mean, is this
a good exercise to lose weight, either walking or running?

Dick:  Yeah, running or walking. You basically burn about 100 calories per
mile whether you run or walk. Now, the thing is, obviously walking is going
to take you a little longer to cover a mile than it will be running. But
for some people that are older or really don't want to run but they can
walk, especially now in the winter time in the icy conditions, I know you
can go up to the mall and they open it up early. You go up there in the
morning and you see all the people that walk laps in there.

They meet people they've never known before and pretty soon they become
good friends, so the walking and running is... What you get for the bang
for your buck as far as burning calories is probably about one of the best
things that there is. You're going to burn calories quite efficiently and
plus your legs are going to tone up. If you use your arms - and that's part
of it. Try running or walking with your arms at your side and you'll
realize how important the arms are.

Scott:  Sure.

Dick:  It's a great way to increase your metabolism, burn the calories and
get in pretty good shape.

Dick Beardsley is perhaps best known for his second place finish in the 1982 Boston Marathon. He continues to run today despite numerous injuries and overcoming an addiction. In this video, he has some tips on how to get a walking or running program started.

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