We know that a lot of our Dashers are first time 5k-ers..maybe getting ready to Get Your Color On with little to no fitness training. Perhaps it’s a goal you have..to feel that runners-high everyone always talks about. Here are some tips for starting a running plan. Maybe you are fit and enjoy a great workout, but aren’t into cardio or running…Here are some tips to get started.
- Slow Down
Don’t be afraid to mix walking & running
Walk 5 minutes, run 2. Repeat 3-5 reps — do this 3-4 days a week
- Increase you mileage
Build mileage by decreasing the walking intervals and increase the run intervals for a couple of days. Keep 1 or 2 of the days at lower walk/run intervals to allow your body to get used to the change.
After a few weeks of building up, take a week to taper (cut back). This will help your body recover from your new exercise program. Then gradually, build back up. For some, the walk/run intervals will be fine. For others, you may be able to run for longer than two minutes.
- Have a Specific Goal Race
Have a goal race (maybe a 5K or a mile fun run) to help keep you motivated. Look for races in your area and pick one that sounds like a lot of fun. Invite some friends along so you can do it together.
When you find a race, sign up for it right away. Mark the date on your calendar, stick it to your fridge, put a reminder on your phone or anywhere else you may see it. That date can help you get out the door when motivation is low. You’ll be glad you did it.
- Find a Running Buddy
Do any of your friends or co-workers run? Ask to join them. This can help pass the time and you may learn something from them as well. If you don’t have any friends that run, look for group runs sponsored by local running clubs. They will usually have mileage and paces posted.
If you don’t see anything you think you can do, go anyway. You might be surprised by the people there and find someone who is more than happy to run with you. Running with others is a great chance to bond with an old friend or make new friends in the running community.
- Get New Shoes
Head to your local running store and tell them your goals. Be prepared to run—they’ll probably ask to see your gait to help find the right shoe for you.
New shoes can help motivate even seasoned runners. There’s something refreshing about lacing up a new pair of running shoes. Even if you don’t buy a new pair, just being in a running atmosphere can be motivating. Plus, they’re a great place to find races and group runs.
- Listen to Your Body
Remember to take it easy. If you push yourself too hard from the start, you risk an early burn-out. You may also risk injury. Gradually build up your endurance and muscle strength. Begin with a walk/run program as a safe and realistic way to begin your running career.
- Strengthen Your Mind
Take it easy on yourself mentally as well. Be proud that you have gotten off the couch and are moving. Think of the positives while you run. Remember, a 12-minute mile and a six-minute mile are still a mile. They are both a mile more than someone who is just sitting on the couch.
#move– brought to you by:
Western Regional Color Dash Race Director
5-Time Ironman Finisher, & Coach