Welcome 2013! As another year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about this site and what I can do in the new year to to make it a bit better. While I love sharing my recipe and nutrition thoughts, I feel as I am in a bit of a rut. I want to keep this site moving and I thought it would be fun to incorporate more challenges and projects.
That being said, I am so excited to announce my first project for this blog: DK’s Virtual Run Club. Whether you are a novice or marathoner, this running club is for you. For the next 12 weeks we will be discussing how to develop a running program, proper form, what to eat before and after a run, clothes, music, exercises and so much more!
Are you in?
This series will run every Thursday, starting today! I’ll also be posting workouts on facebook & twitter so make sure you are following! While this series will focus on running, you can adapt most of these strategies to whatever exercise is preferable to you: walking, swimming, biking, it ALL works.
Let’s start at the beginning, the very beginning. When I train new clients, many of them complain that they hate running. It’s too hard, too intense, whatever. I get it, running is not for everyone (see above) but the hatred could also stem from poor form. Improper form makes running more strenuous on your body, and therefore a lot less enjoyable. Proper form can help you run faster and reduce risk of injury.
✓ Look in front of you, not at your feet. Your gaze should be 15-20 feet ahead of you, anticipating where you are going and avoiding tripping on anything in front of you.
✓ Your toes, knees, and hips should all be in alignment, and that starts with feet pointed straight ahead, not turned out to either side.
✓ Imagine your foot divided in three: your heel, the middle, and your toes. Practice landing in the middle of your foot, not on your heels and toes. Most beginners tend to put too much emphasis on landing on their toes, which can overwork your calves and create shin-splits.
✓ Relax your arms and hands. Clenching your fists leads to tension in your arms, neck and shoulders. Keep arms where the naturally fall, about waist level. Any higher and you might feel tension in your shoulders.
✓ Maintain a neutral spine & pelvis. Keep your head up and shoulders level. As we tire, we tend to slouch over and curl our shoulders into our chest. This can lead to unnecessary neck & lower-back pain.
✓ Keep your stride low to the ground to avoid bouncing. The higher you lift your legs off the ground, the more shock delivered to your joints. Take short, light steps, like a shuffle.
I know it seems like a lot of steps, but making sure you have proper form is crucial to enjoying any type of workout program. Practice good form and eventually it will come naturally.
Now that we’ve got proper form down, let’s work on goals. What do YOU want out of this? If you’ve been running for a while, is there an upcoming race you’d like to enter? Setting a specific mileage goal can be a great way to motivate you and increase your endurance. Maybe you’d like to increase your speed?
My goal? I admit, I am selfishly doing this to get back into running myself. Since I teach a lot of group exercise, I don’t get as much me-workouts as I’d like. Running is as much of a mental workout for me as a physical one. It’s where I can be alone with my thoughts and plan out my goals. In fact- it’s where I got the idea for this project. I don’t have a specific mileage in mind, but I would like to start training for more 1/2 marathons. I’ll be honest. I’ve never been particularly jazzed about the idea of running 26.2 miles, I’ll leave that to the BLs of the world. I do love the thrill of a 1/2 marathon though and will be focusing on more long distance runs, more often.
If your new or somewhat new to a running program, what would you like to accomplish? Running a mile without stopping to walk? Training for your first 5K? Maybe it’s just increasing the frequency that you exercise, like me.
Whatever it may be, take a moment and think about your intention. That will help guide you as we tackle each week.
To help you get started, I’ve put together some basic training programs for running a mile, 5K, ½ marathon, and a marathon. These are only meant to serve as a guide, feel free to adapt them for what you need. You can add or take away as you see fit.
Let’s help motivate each other! What are your goals? Comment below! What would you like to see featured during the next 12 weeks? Let me know!
Beginners 5K running program
Ready, Set, Let’s Go