Friday, December 31, 2010

One Run At A Time

Many curious or interested about running ask me if I run everyday.  How long have I been running?  How much miles do I cover in a week?  When do I find the time to run during the day?  My simple answer to the question is that I take it one run at a time.

You can make running as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.  But here's my advice to those who want to take on running as their primary workout for their fitness resolution this new year 2011.  Take it one run at a time.  First, decide to run today.  Plan your other activities around your running time.  Appropriate the right amount of time to include the time needed to gear up for the run.  Many a downfall of jumpstart runners is that they take too much time thinking about whether they will run or not, then simply end up not running at all.

Secondly, just run what you can.  Take walk breaks.  Then run again.  Sometimes you get that second wind.  Word of caution on your first run workouts - don't overdo it.  Running produces adrenaline in your body and makes you feel invincible during the run, but then you pay the price later on.  Although the goal is to take it one run at a time, you do want to stay strong and injury free so you could keep running for more days to come.  A good estimate is to set an hour of your day - to include dressing up, cooling down after running, and dressing back up for your next activity of the day.

If you take it one run at a time, there's a higher likelihood that you will be running on a more consistent basis.  Why?  Because you will find running as something not to be  anxious about.  You can take off running on a good start by keeping it simple.  Many distracting thoughts might stop you, such as how far, your shoes, your knees, etc.  These are important items in running, but don't worry about it to a point that it will stop you from taking that first step.  Remember to keep your desire to run to stay healthy and fit.  It is your right attitude that will carry you through the day and even for a much longer period of time.

Doing it one run at a time is no different from taking life one day at a time.  I'm a worrier and I fret about what other people say, what I don't have; and I entertain these thoughts and let them ruin my day.  I let needless anxieties bother me and prevent me from spending time on the most important things in my life - such as telling my wife how much I love her or playing and having fun with my son.  I tend to argue that...but I'm just being a practical father who needs to worry about tomorrow's needs.  That's a valid argument, but I've learned that that is a secondary argument.  The most important things to me are the things that I will treasure in my heart that will make me happy all the time.  Tomorrow's challenges will come for sure, but I can face them with a joyful and even thankful attitude.  Two fitting thoughts come to mind:

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don't forget to thank Him for his answers.  If you do this you will experience God's peace..." (Philippinans 4:6-7)

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.  It's already tomorrow in Australia." (Charles Schulz 1922-2000, Charlie Brown cartoon creator)

So, going back to your run.  Take it one run at a time.  Make your health an important priority in your life.  Plan other activities around your running workout.  Start with 1 hour to include the time to change to your workout attire, the all important cool down time, and the time to dress up or down for your next activity of the day.  Just run what you can and take walk breaks regularly.  Finally, say a prayer to thank God for your health and time to run.  God bless!

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