Speaking Of Running

Nathans Story

  If your reading this, then you have been referred to my running coach's site. Will trains athletes of every caliber, but I'd like to talk to you about his beginners program the "Getting Started' class. Now this IS and endorsement, but I'm not being paid for this, nor did Will come a begging. I'm submitting this because I honestly think this program is phenomenal & if your serious about changing your health this is a great and FUN way to go. Before I go much further a little about myself.

  My name is Nathan & I'm in my early 30's. I work as an assistant manager in the produce dept. for Texas best grocery retailer H.E.B.! Now lifting 40 lb. boxes all day keeps a body in pretty good shape but sadly I had been neglecting my cardio workouts. For the first time in my life I was putting on weight & not beautiful muscle but ugly fat. I also was a smoker which is a no brainer on the "health-o-meter. See I'm one of those people that HATES cardio. Treadmills & the like are as close you can get to medieval torture devices. I also had childhood asthma which I have out grown but really never got over the idea that running wasn't a form of humiliation & torture thta my caches used. If you've ever been the slowest runner in your class you know what I'm talking about. 

  So there I was frustrated with the weight gain, over stressed & no plan on how to change this downward spiral. As fate would have it I ran into Will Carlson. Casual conversations at work revealed that he was a running coach. Not only was he a running coach but he was an expert in the Galloway Method.Now if you don't know Jeff Galloway he is a former Olympian & author of several books and magazine articles. That's one heck of a resume! I'll get into why I think the Galloway Method is so great in a bit. Anyway Will mentioned on how he was getting ready to launch a running class for beginners. His last "newbie" athletes all successfully completed the class. That's training a body to walk/run from a start point of zero to 5 miles in 10 weeks. Five miles! Can you remember the last time you ran a mile let alone 5? Call it fate, kismet,karma, whatever, but it was like a bolt from the blue. I was intrigued. I kept pondering the questions could I learn to like running and could I go the distance?      

  Deciding the only things I had to lose were body fat and time I decided then and there that I was "in"! Now first things first to be a successful athlete regardless of the sport the vile cigs had to go. Quitting smoking takes a lot of discipline & desire to quit period! But knowing I had a goal in mind sure made it a lot easier. A month latter I was ready to run & boy did my lungs thank me. It was class time! I showed up early Sat. afternoon wondering to see how it would all go. Will was there waiting which scored big points with me. Nothing worse than a trainer who is late that is a huge pet peeve of mine. He also provided everybody with bottles of water (at every class) so all I had to bring is my running shoes, my bad self, & the desire to "just do it"! After everybody showed up he explained the Galloway Method. It is very simple, but very effective. Jeff preaches that the best way to train for a running event is to do so using alternating running/walking intervals. You walk for a bit then you run then you walk for a bit you get the idea.    

  As you progress walking intervals are shortened & running intervals are increased. Besides being an effective method to get your body adjusted to the rigors of running it spares your body a whole lot of wear and tear. "Pain free running" you scoff? You betcha!! Not once did I suffer cramps nor dreaded shin splints. Nor did I or anybody in my class experience an injury of any sort. Also not once was I left feeling out of breath. Back to that first day after explaining the method and answering questions & meeting my classmates it was time to begin. We started with a gentle  5 minute warm up then it was time to hit the trail. Will had me so pumped on that first running interval I took off like a rocket! I also got my first lesson in pacing myself.

  This program isn't about speed its about improvement. I left that first class with not only a better understanding of the great sport, but understanding of how my body works. At class number two we got our training journals the excellent book Getting Started, a Brooks running shirt & discount card to Runtex. All of the books were personally autographed by Jeff Galloway & and really made you feel reassured that you were indeed a member of a vast support group. I feel that all these extras were worth the price of admission alone. As nice as the goodies were the best thing I got from class two was the feeling of accomplishment.
We did a mile & half! We also had the blueprint to do our individual solo workouts.

  To better improve you do two weekly walk/ runs on your own. Will was prompt in answering any questions or concerns via. e-mail. It was not uncommon for me to e-mail in the evening & and have a response waiting for me the very next day. (due to odd work shifts at work) all my solo runs had to  be at night, sometimes very late at night at that). By class three my metabolism was starting to kick in. Sayonara fat. 

  Having co-workers exclaim how trim you are starting to look is a real motivator. Not only was I losing weight, but I felt emotionally better. Retail management can be pretty hectic & stressful. In running I was finding a release. Every class kept adding to my positive experience. Beating last weeks mileage was an amazing feeling. I would like to point out that while each class felt easy, I always felt challenged. Everybody in my class was positive and supportive plus Will is a peerless motivator. The best thing about these classes is how much room there is for diversity  there is a structured environment. I easily get bored with repetition. Sometimes you want to as I put it, "let the horse run" & sometimes you want to keep pace with the person who is running slower.

  Through such lessons I got to experience the social side of the sport. Finally in what seemed a blink on an eye we were run/ walking our goal of 5 miles! Five miles baby! I can't tell you how good that felt to bask in the glow of the family, friends & co-workers. Most of them can't imagine running a half mile let alone five. The most satisfying is your personal sense of accomplishment. Until you do it it just can't be described in words. 

  Today I am still an active runner. Not only am I active but I'm a running addict. If anybody would have told me that I'd be an avid runner I would have laughed. Four f my classmates did their first 5K (due to scheduling conflicts & series of comical errors I was unable to participate with them) & one is now in Wills marathon class! I am planning on doing my first 5K sometime in early spring or summer. I am also still losing weight! I would highly recommend this program without any reservations to anybody who is serious about learning to run. Bring your desire and sneakers, Will Carlson will provide the rest! The time is now my friend, "just freaking do it"! As Will would write "To Your Journey".

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