Series: Footnotes

Want to look good naked? Try running. Want to lose some of those extra pounds from drinking too much? Run more. The average college student cares about three things: drinking, sex and sometimes, grades. Though running can’t help get you good grades (with the exception of Phys. Ed.) it can help in the other two areas.

But first, why should you listen to me? Seven of the past eight years I’ve been a truly dedicated runner who has accomplished a lot personally and with various teams. Personal bests include: 1:59 (800m), 4:26 (mile), 9:46 (two mile), 15:52 (5k) and I think you get the idea. Yet despite treading countless miles and endless hill repeats, my running came to a much anticipated end last spring when old injuries emerged.

After battling three stress fractures, a broken vertebrae, broken ribs, mono and tonsillitis in four years—all in part related to running—last April I finally said enough. That hiatus lasted until this February when, like a relapsing drug addict, the withdrawal was unbearable and I caved. Now I have the unique opportunity to fall back in love with a sport which, put quite frankly: is a cold hard bitch.

As a veteran runner who’s never taken more than a few weeks off at any one time I begin this series detailing my first run in months on Feb. 16: it sucked. Forgetting that it had been some time since my last run, my first mile went through in six minutes flat (great!), followed by a 7:35 mile (OK) and finally an 8:13 mile (sad face). At the end of the run students at a nearby bus stop were staring at me and not because I’m handsome, but because I looked like I was about to keel over and die. I said I was experienced, not an Olympian. And so with this popular newbie mistake, I’ll go into the first lesson.

Pace Yourself

Plan the run ahead of time. If this is your first run, plan for about 20 minutes of jogging and running. My run, for example, was a total of three miles in 21:48 minutes; it would have been much more manageable if I had run consistent 7-minute miles opposed to my more “caviler” strategy. During the run, gradually pick up the pace until you are running at an uncomfortable, but manageable, pace and you know you can finish. Try using a pace calculator offered by CoolRunning to plan how fast each mile should be or how many miles you can run in a certain amount of time.

If you plan to run: 2 days a week
Try to get in longer runs beginning around three miles and working up to five or more in the later weeks. Make sure to hold back during the beginning of the run so you don’t overexert yourself and can finish.

3-4 days a week
Start off with two or three miles and increase it by one mile each additional day until you get to a distance and pace that works best for you. To recover faster take a day off after each run.

5-6 days a week
You’re a full-time runner! At the beginning of the week do a two to three mile run for the first three days, followed by an easy day where you run at a slower pace, then a long run which consists of 20-30 percent of the weekly total mileage (i.e., if you want to do 20 miles a week make your long run 5-6 miles). Runner’s World suggests doing long runs even if you’re just a recreational runner.

Check back next week for places to run in Boulder and more!

Have questions you want to be addressed in the next article? Looking for a running buddy? Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Adrian Kun at

CU Independent

The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that’s for students and by students — about the things we care about.

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