TRAINING – is a LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Whatever sport you are going to do you should strengthen the muscles that you use for that sport. For running/walking you need to strengthen your runners core ( from the waist to the bottom of your feet). This is not rocket science – this is just plain old common sense. So let’s start strengthening the feet, ankles, calves, knees, quads, hamstrings, abs and the entire waist structure. Do some strengthening of the entire body and improve your flexibility.
Training is not just running and running is definitely not just putting one foot in front of the other. You are an individual and your training should be designed for YOU. What you need to eat, drink, take on as energy supplements, etc. may be different than your friend or even your twin. Your mind set, body make up, genes and ability may be very different. You have to make the decision as to whether you want to be a walker, walk/runner or a runner. You have to make the decision as to HOW MUCH TIME & EFFORT YOU can put into training. How competitive are you? Do you want to compete in short or long races? Do you just want to be a social runner and stay healthy?
In all training you start very slowly and build up slowly in both distance and pace. You should be learning something about yourself, your ability, your food and drink requirements, your mind set, etc. before, during and after every training session. Keep a log so that you can go back and see what was good and what was bad. Your log will help you to make corrections. In order to walk and/or run injury free you must strengthen your body and learn to walk or run with the proper FORM. As you get stronger and more experienced you can go to a running shoe with less support. Jogging/walking barefoot on a clean, soft surface can strengthen your feet, and you may be able to run in a minimalist shoe, but I do not recommend running on the road barefoot.
I recommend a schedule that calls for running four (4) days a week, two (2) days of cross training (non impact – strengthening) and one (1) day of rest. Once a month I like to see you do a 5K race on your rest day (after you have built up your ability). One of your running days I recommend a track workout. I recommend a track workout even for walkers. Come out to a Tuesday evening track workout at FAU in Boca and let me check out your running form and make some recommendations and then I can work up a training schedule for you. One run each week should be a long run. Two (2) miles might be long run when you start, but you have to build up to twenty (20) miles if you plan on doing a marathon. I recommend building up to a full marathon with some shorter distance races and a couple of half marathons.
It is absolutely necessary to make a commitment by signing up to do a half marathon and sticking to your decision and staying with your training program. Runners are healthier and do live longer. In my opinion, runners are the nicest people and getting involved in the running community adds greatly to your social life.
If you have any questions, on anything about running and/or walking (this includes eating, hydrating, what is the correct form, etc.) feel free to contact me.
Author of “Stepping Forward – A Runner’s Guide To Moving For Life”