My one friend took up running earlier this year. I was pretty excited because I wanted to share my love of running with my girlfriends.
My friend's now running 10K+ each time she runs. She doesn't follow a plan nor does she follow any of the mileage increase rules for running. I have no idea how fast, how often or hard she's running, but I hope she's running really slow and not over-doing it. Beginners are a very enthusiastic bunch: it's that awesome time where the runner's high comes easily, your training pays huge dividends and the PRs come quick and easy.
What worried me the most was her latest comment: she said needed to run further than her boyfriend so she could beat his distance. His last run was 15K.
It's great to be competitive, but in running, you only compete against yourself. It's a normal new runner mistake. It took me a really long time to realize this and I felt so much better about my running when I came to terms with my competitive streak. That's not to say I don't feel a twinge of competitiveness when a really fast woman blows by me on the path, but I push it down and continue on my run.
It's pretty obvious that she hasn't read anything about running or how to do it safely. Maybe I'm the weird one, since I love to overdose on running books and magazines. I hope I'm just overreacting and that I don't know the full story, but I have to admit that I'm worried she's going to end up hurt.
Maybe I should send her a copy of my favourite running book, Running for Mortals, for Christmas.