Here it is February and you are no closer to getting started. There is no plan in place and you are getting frustrated. There is nothing easy and you must return to the basics.
Before you can start, a decision must be made that you see a need for a program to start walking, running, or exercising in general.
The exercise program which you select will be successful once you develop it to be a habit which can be repeated. A way to improve the habit is to set a reward which you will derive from it. A reward could be the loss of some unwanted pounds or that colorful race t-shirt after the completion of a race.
Do you have the control of your mornings or evenings? Select what time of day you will devote to your program and be consistent. Establish how much time you have available.
An added motivation is to have a partner join you. The starting point could be from a local coffee shop or within a neighborhood. Have each person discuss what they want to get out of the program. You’ll discover there will be shared goals. You can set a challenge that in 90 days all of you will enter in a 5K (3.1 miles) race together. All you will need is one completion and the t-shirt will validate the work that all of you have devoted to the training.
A future runner spoke to me about how she was up to two miles, but had an injury and never went back. Now she wants to get back to do a 5K. I am going to consider helping with the training but first I gave her a homework assignment of a few questions:
How bad do you want it?
How many days a week do you have available to run?
What is it you are looking for?
Do you think this is going to be easy?
What was the most you ran before?
How long did you run?
What kept you from getting back to running?
What fears do you have about running, if any?
Do you have the confidence in yourself?
The questions above I direct back to you. In order to have anything work, you need to be honest with yourself. It is so easy to make an excuse for not exercising and it’s your way of saying that you do not care about your health.
Here is another exercise. Using a blank sheet of paper, draw a line down the center. The left side is a plus sign and the right is a negative sign. You know what is coming: list the positive benefits on the left and negative on the right.
In doing this, you can see for yourself that it might be the right thing to do. Since I do not have any formal training I can’t quote sound medical opinions or other long articles which you may read. What I know has been by trial and error.
I can direct you to do a Google search to look up a 5K training program (there are many out there) and with all of them you have to do some running. The piece they do not mention is that you will have to train your mind to build up your self-confidence that the 3.1 miles can be achieved. You can complete one and then you begin to duplicate that each month until they become a habit.
Once the feet start moving, all you have to do is go along with the program and let the body take over.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series about developing habits, one step at a time.