110520 Are You Ready to Run? Part 1 of 2

110520 Are You Ready to Run? Part 1 of 2

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS

Spring seems like it’s just around the corner and with that comes, for some, the urge to get outside and run. But are you ready to hit the street? Have you built up a training foundation?

If you have been working out over the winter then you probably already know what to do and are following a general plan and simply running the way you feel like each day. Others of you may be following a well laid out plan and come what may you are adhering to it every time you go out.

Most newbie’s make the mistake of doing too much, too soon and end up injured. An ideal beginning program ensures a low training volume for three to six months which allows the body to acclimate to the mechanical loading. Taking the necessary steps to prevent injury will lead to longer lasting enjoyment of this form of exercise.

Begin by analyzing your motivation and discipline. Just why are you out there in the first place? Is it for you or for someone else? Do you have the discipline to stick with it for at least three months? After the three months the subconscious begins to control the habit of running consistently. Support from family and friends, self efficacy, perseverance and a healthy mental attitude will contribute to your success.

Setting short, intermediate and long range goals that are measurable, achievable, realistic and time limited will help keep you on track. Shaping these behaviors boils down to a series of steps that ultimately lead to obtaining your goal.

Allocate a specific time and duration each day for your running or your choice of exercise. Run with a group, or by yourself in the morning or at noon, after supper or as soon as you get home from work. Stick with it.

Once you begin to follow your personal schedule it becomes self reinforcing and provides more encouragement to continue. Lay out your running gear before you go to bed or as soon as you get up in the morning. This is the stimuli and encouragement that makes you want to follow through.