Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pace Yourself

There are lots of lessons we can learn from nature. One of them is that Spring is a time of growth and renewal.

And for us humans and specifically those of us humans who run, this is also time to grow. Namely, it’s time to grow your mileage.

Not only does it feel right to do it now - the weather is warmer, the streets are free of ice, and our impatience to be outdoors has long since gotten out of control – but it’s also a good time to get ready for spring and summer races.

If you are like me and don’t run a lot of races this is still a good time to set new goals for yourself.

It may seem impossible, but it’s totally not. And it can be summed up in just three words

Just Do It

And maybe three more

Keep it Simple

When I want to tackle something, whether in life, in running, in relationships, I go back to basics and focusing on each step in the journey to my goal.

This may sound really basic, but there is so much advice, guidance, gear and other things out there that you can end up spending more time focusing on the how and not the what.

Want to move from 5k to 10k? If you are already running 5k consistently and without much effort, you can tack on a mile to your next run.  Seem like too much? Add a 20 minute walk after your run to start. Then you can go to a walk/run and then to a run.

Just walking some “extra mileage” at the end of your run will eventually lead to longer runs.

The great part is you are building endurance while not risking injuries due to the increase in mileage.  It’s simple, I know.  But it’s worked for me for 40 years……

That same idea holds true if you are going from 8 miles to a half marathon or even longer distance.  Add a bit of walking on the end.  Turn it into walk/runs, then slow jogs, then runs.  And bingo!  Your mileage increased.

The main thing is that you – like the grass and the trees - are moving forward, growing and getting better. That’s what life is really about.

Share your thoughts and ideas – ways you have reached goals, increased mileage, and stayed running.

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