It is your wonderful, poster posting, information sharing running friend Becky, back with another new post. This is a welcome to all the new comers. I come back from vacation for 4 days and see like 20 new people. Winter is over, spring has begun and it has herded a new crop of C25K participants. Funny how the sun does that to people.
Whether you are a week in or are researching to start your journey, this is one thread you want to read. This will be the low down. Your one stop, shop to get all information you need to make sure your starting is injury free and as successful as possible. So here we go....the biggies that everyone should know before begining.....
1. Get a check up
Sure you feel great. But if you are a man over 45 or a woman over 55, and especially if you have known illnesses, go see your doctor before starting. There might be risk factors you dont' know about, i.e. maybe you have high blood pressure and don't know it. Get the okay from your doctor, or at least set up a monitoring schedule to make sure you remaining healthy and injury free. This is a good time to get recommendations from your doctor on sports medicine clinics, for either sports massages or for anyt injuries you might end up getting further down the road.
2. Set a goal
They become your incentives. If you don't set goals, you'll get bored. Becoming bored means you increase your chance of quiting. Set a target. Maybe it is as simple as being able to run for 30 minutes straight, or maybe it is to run that 5K in July. Make sure it is realistic. Starting today, and hoping to run a 5K tomorrow isn't.
3. Take it slow
If you need to repeat a week, do not be afraid to do so. Also, don't go out guns blazing. Slow is the new fast. Going too fast or too much too soon can cause injury, which puts you right back at the begining.
4. Buy Running shoes
Most people dont' want to invest in this at the begining because they are afraid they won't stick it out. But, buying running shoes can mean the difference between success and failure. Go to a running store and get fitted. That doesn't mean you have to buy them there. I have gone to the running store, gotten fitted and then found the shoes for half the price at Rack Room.
5. Set up a walk base
This is super important. If you are someone who can not go 100 feet without stopping for a breath of air then you need to stop and consider where you are realisticly. Creating a 30 minute/3 days a week walking base will help you increase your chance at success.
6. Consider time over distance
When you start, it shouldn't be about how far or how fast you can do something. It should be about how long. Running by time de-emphasized pace, and allows you to adjust to how YOU feel that day.
7. Tap the power of three
Three days a week minimum. Studies have shown that people who do not run regularly are more prone to quit. You can not achive running fitness unless you do it consistently.
8. Get to week 6
I say this because at this point you actually in the running portion of the program, have will have been running consistantly for 3 weeks. This is the turning point for most runners. Your metabolism is changing, you're getting more and more energetic, and your diet has probably improved.
9. Endurance over speed
Work on completing the program before worrying about how fast you are going. Once you are done you can readjust your focus to speed.
10. Seek Peer Pressure
Join a running club, or go to your local running store and see if they do organized runs. Breakaway (both Memphis stores) have group runs on Wednesdays. Meeting friends and having running buddies will help you maintain the new lifestyle.
11. Reward Yourself
When you hit milestones, give yourself a treat. Get yourself a medal, or get a cupcake (Gigi's was my reward hahaha). But, reward yourself for a job well done.
12. Get your family involved
If you have ever wondered if you could get your kids into it, the answer is yes. The C25K program is actually a good program to start children out on. The distance is minimal, and the run/walk splits are perfect recoveries for growing bodies. And, if you can enlist your SO to get involved you can make the runs family time.
13. Mix it up
Don't run the same place very time. Get out and run every where. Run down the street (get flashers if there are no sidewalks), run trails, run around the pond, run at the park.
14. Accept bad runs
Everyone has them. Everyone will have them. They are unavoidable. Accept the fact that not every run will end up you feeling great. On those tough days, slow down and focus on the task at hand.
15. Accentuate the positive
Don't put added pressure on yourself. Focus on the accomplishment of each workout.
16. Stretch, stretch, oh and stretch
What to stretch?