Have you ever driven past a runner?
If you’re like me, you love the thought of running, but hate actually doing it. So, in comes the onslaught of searches for running inspiration on Pinterest, looking at Google for the benefits of running, watching running videos, and (my favorite) looking at inspirational stories and photos of people who lost tons of weight by running. All for some little breath of motivation.
It’s usually around this time that I defiantly take a sip of my soda and press the gas pedal to go a little faster past the clearly superior human being to my right who is out enjoying the sun and her run.
One year I tried it by myself! I learned all about different types of interval training, and I learned that a “fartlek” is only funny until you try to train with them. The point is, I am not a runner.
So many of us become convinced that we should be able to jump right into these couch-to-5k programs, but the result is invariably frustration, and more often, injury, which leads to discouragement and another bowl of popcorn.
When I first encountered Slow Jogging by Dr. Hiroaki Tanaka, it caught my eye immediately. Why hadn’t I ever thought of just starting slow?
Well because I am a super type-A, results-driven American, that’s why. I should be able to go from the couch to a 5k run in a matter of weeks, starting with virtually zero running training for my whole life, that’s why. Right?
But what if I actually could run? What if I really did have a runner inside of me after all? What if I could learn to run, and love it?
What if I needed to slow down and enjoy the learning process a little bit better, and arm myself with facts from an actual professional, instead of a well-meaning-but-ultimately-juvenile approach from a post on Pinterest?
I loved this book. What a great reminder that fitness can be, and should be, an enjoyable (ENJOYABLE!) part of every day life. And when I mention slow jogging, I mean S-L-O-W! Slow down! The initial pace described in the book is so slow that I could actually start walking if I wanted to. I think if I were on the sidewalk jogging at this pace, I would most certainly be passed by regular pedestrians.
But it isn’t walking. It’s jogging! Jogging without killing myself or hurting myself (which was another surprise setback from my previous fitness attempt). It’s jogging, and enjoying it.
I plan to take Professor Tanaka’s advice and explore slow jogging some more! Maybe I’ll fall in love it with so much, I won’t feel so bad about not being able to run very fast. Maybe, just maybe, it could be the foundation for a new sport that I can love, with a smile on my face and free of injury, for my whole life long.
Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you think! If you’ve read anything similar, please be sure and tell me about it so that we can explore it together!
If you are beginning a new adventure in fitness, like I am, just remember there are always great new things to try! Chances are that if you keep looking, you’ll find an activity that is rewarding and fun for you, and will make fitness a treasure within your life. Why not start with a good book about it, and see where it takes you!
Tanaka, Hiroaki. Slow Jogging. New York, NY: Sky Horse Publishing, 2016. Print.
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