Left, right, left, right.
This could be a very short post. Actually going out for a run isn’t difficult, but really getting into running, making it a lifestyle habit can take a commitment and if you’ve never done it or it’s been a long time, it can be intimidating.
I joined a running group in the past year and it has a list of nearly 100 members, but only 20-25 regularly show up for the weekly runs. Why? A lot of people find ripping the band-aid off to get started overwhelming. Here are 5 steps to get started in running. It’s worth the effort. Running is one of the most beneficial exercises for both mind and body.
Just drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine. Right? Not exactly. Anyone that has run in the heat and ran face first into “the wall” can tell you that sometimes figuring out what enough means can be complicated. With summer training comes the heat and humidity, two of Mother Natures tougher foes for endurance athletes.
If you don’t have access to a coach or a lab, how do you figure out how best to hydrate so you don’t end up crawling along the sidewalk?
There are a couple simple rules of thumb that should keep you safe and running.
Here’s what I’m learning as a master’s athlete (i.e., an old man), there isn’t a lot of room for error. All those things coaches have been telling you for years (nutrition, strength training, stretching, rolling, recovery), if you don’t do them now, or try to skimp, like you did in your 20s or 30s, you will get injured or see impacts to your performance.
So far, the biggest impact to maintaining speed and fitness as I age has been to increase the focus and consistency of my strength training. I think I’ve finally hit on a formula that doesn’t make me dread going to the gym to lift.
The second biggest impact has been a return to the track and consistent speed work. It doesn’t have to be the gut-busting, lung burning intervals of high school or college. I’m learning that consistency over intensity is also a key to success as a master’s athlete.
I’ve been running regularly for a long time. I don’t say this to brag, but to point out the kinds of issues I struggle with now might not be the same as the ones a beginner runner finds most difficult. Depending on where you are in your fitness, just starting, somewhere in the middle, or a long-time veteran, you will likely encounter different struggles both mentally and physically.
It’s February here in the Northeast and we are deep into treadmill season. Despite some brief respites of days over the freezing mark, the majority of my runs over the last two months have been on the treadmill.
As a replacement for the bulk of base miles the treadmill often gets maligned, but as a training tool for specific, targeted workouts, I think it is often neglected. I wouldn’t want to run all my miles on a treadmill, but the treadmill can have a purpose in your training cycle.
It’s the dark days of February in New England which means lots of people are bundled up and running outside to train for the marathon. God bless, them. Training locally for Boston is probably the toughest and sometimes most dangerous part.
I don’t have to worry about that this year, but I’m still trying get some running in despite the snow, ice and general unpleasantness outside.
What’s the best way to train for a 5k? Do you still need long runs? Only sprint workouts?
It’s been at least 10 years since I really focused on the 5k as a goal race. Recently, it’s been longer road races and triathlons as the goal and the 5k’s were only there to spice up the training or get in the speed work, but with my knee arthritis and the goal of building back up very slowly, 2018 is looking like the year of the 5k and the sprint triathlons.
For the last six weeks I have slowly been ramping up the running with the goal of starting the new year with a solid race. Here is what I’ve learned and put into practice as my training.