2014: Eyes on the Prize

“Running has taught me, perhaps more than anything else, that there’s no reason to fear starting lines… or other new beginnings.” – Amby Burfoot
With the start of the new year, many of you have your sights set on a new & improved you. Maybe you are starting your first ever fitness routine, trying to bump your current fitness skills up a notch or finally breaking off that long (but loving) relationship with your Chinese delivery man. Yet, maybe you know it’s time to dust off those gym shoes but not sure exactly how to start. Why not give running a try?
Don’t be intimidated by veteran runners with high-tech hydration gear, short shorts and gazelle-like paces – everyone had to start as a beginner and get the experience to become a master racer. Running is the simplest form of exercise as all you need are a stable, fitted pair of shoes, some water, and you’re off! Below are a few tips to help you get started before the start line!

1. Create an inspiration board – Visually seeing your goal will continually reinforce how badly you want to cross that finish line & receive your first race medal. When life gets stressful, the sidewalks to

the gym are covered in a foot of snow or you “just don’t feel like it”, having a visual reminder like a run inspiration board will keep YOU going because YOU says what goes on the board and what uplifts you to keep going when the going gets tough. Plus, it’s a great way to utilize those left over Women’s Health & Shape magazines sitting in the corner.

2. Take your time – Many new runners either injure themselves, get down on themselves or get burnt out because they try to do too much right away. The worst mistake a runner can make is to compare themselves TO THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU. It doesn’t matter if the runner on the treadmill next to you is running at a pace 3x faster than you or you missed two days so you’ll makeup by running those miles in one day…STOP! Your body can only handle so much, so make sure you listen to what you body is saying, stretch and hydrate yourself. You won’t be able to cross the finish line if your sidelined from an injury.

3. Team Up – Why not make that finish line count!? There are numerous of charity teams you can join to not only get coaching tips and training plans, but also meet other runners, connect with the running community and make a difference for a great cause. Likewise, you’ll have a team to celebrate that first time finish with!

4. Run out of the ordinary – With the growing popularity of Color Runs, Mud Races and themed 5ks, make your first race memorable! These runs provide more than just the usual on-course water and post-run banana and sport drink. You get the chance to either create a costume for races such as the 80’s run or (Mike) Ditka Dash or wear white and watch yourself be transformed throughout the run. Plus, many themed races are a 5k (3.1 Mile) distance – a perfect distance for first time runners!

5. Be One with RUNNING – So you are just starting out? That doesn’t make you inferior to the veteran runner next to you who is on his 38th marathon or your running friend who wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to get 8 miles in each morning. Every runner has their own pace, training schedule, running preferences and more. When people ask you what you do for fun, tell them you run! Mention your training, your goal and start calling yourself a runner. Once you accept yourself as a runner, you’ll soon be joining your friend for those 4:30 a.m. runs.

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