Big, Scary Goal Time
Keeping training fun and flexible will help you reach your goals
If this week was your first week of running - ever, what would you do?
After a recent conversation with my sister, she’s deciding she wants to break her HS mile PR. Ambitious, huh? Nothing like putting her big, scary goal out for the entire world [or just the people who read this].
The problem is, she really hasn’t been running for a while. Like, as in she’s run 5 times in a number of years.
So it’s not exactly an easy goal she wants to reach for.
I’m sure at some point, we’ve all been there where we’ve taken extended time off and we feel like climbing Mt. Everest would be equally as challenging as it would be to get back in running shape.
Here is what I would offer up to anyone who’s also in that same boat as my sister.
Get fitted for running shoes. Potentially buy two pairs of the same shoe OR get a second pair that also feels good on your foot. Rotate them weekly so you extend the life of both pairs. Also, being in two pairs of shoes forces your foot to adapt to both, making those small tendons work and get stronger.
Cross train to your little hearts content. Find an activity you don’t mind doing - swimming, biking, yoga, elliptical, rower - whatever will help you build your aerobic capacity without the pounding on your legs.
Start easy, stay easy. You’ve been out of it for so long that your body can’t withstand jumping back into “real training” right away.
Extend your time-expectations. Just like a kitchen reno, you can expect that it’ll take a lot longer than you anticipated. Pace yourself and prepare for the long haul.
When in doubt, favor rest. You can always add mileage if you need to, but as my saying goes, “you can’t unburn toast.” Once you’re beyond the point of return, you can’t come back easily.
After you’ve gotten the basics out of the way - and this could take anywhere from 2-5 months, then you can get into more formal training where you are adding long runs and workouts. Until then though, you really should focus on easy efforts and consistently getting workouts in.
Have questions? Reply to the email and I’ll get back to you.
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Have big goals, tell them to people, then form a plan of attack. You got this.
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