The festivities are over and it’s time to get back into the running club! You may not be a keen runner, yet; and full marathon is not for everyone but sometimes the best plan is to start small and work your way up to the big thing. Running is great because you don’t have to hit a certain number of qualifications to join the club. One mile, 5ks, or marathons–no matter the distance you’re still getting out there and getting some exercise! Don’t run before you can walk, simply set out a realistic goal and try to improving on your stamina until you can achieve your goal.
So, where do you start? Look at your current mileage and take it up by about 10%. Your goal has to be realistic – if you don’t have time to run 20 miles every week don’t set this as a target. You’ll end up getting discouraged before the end of January.
What you eat throughout the day plays a big part in how your running goes. Something with too much fiber or fat could really cut a long run short, as could heading out on an empty stomach. Keep tabs on what you’re eating throughout the week and plan your meals so that they help and don’t hurt your run. Three to four hours before your run, have a meal with carbs and small amounts of protein. Follow that up with a carbohydrate-rich snack 30-60 minutes prior to tying on your running shoes and heading out the door. For carbs, think about a slice of whole grain bread with jam or fruit.
Get your friends on board. It’s more fun to have someone with you to help you reach your goal. It’ll make you accountable to the decisions you’re making and if you’re tempted to skip a run or give up altogether, they can encourage to keep on going.
It is true that running will require sacrifice but trust me it will be worth it! There are times that you will have to get out of bed a little earlier or get home from work later. You may think you’ll find more time and motivation once the weather gets better and the days get longer, but start as you mean to go on from January. And share all of the bad weather running stories with me here so we can see who’s had the worse…