Happy Sunday here team.
I’m taking a break from the “For things to change…” series this week to dive into another series of articles I have sketched out called ‘UPPING YOUR TRAINING’ – this first one is about running and I hope you all enjoy it!
It’s been pretty cool over the last few months to watch as a few of our morning crew have added a bit of running to their week. Some are doing a bit every day, some are doing a couple of sessions each week…the specifics actually aren’t that important. But what does matter is people continuing to challenge themselves, add to their weekly routine and becoming fitter, stronger people.
There is not a single doubt in the world that the two exercise routines that completely SUCK the most when you first start are running and swimming. You watch other people and it seems easy enough…then you give it a go and 100m down the road (25m into a 50m lap of the pool) you are gasping for air and wondering exactly when you get to stop…and how exactly other people do the same thing but not for moments or even minutes, but for more than an hour…it is disheartening and heart-breaking and, ultimately, humbling. But it is important to remember that you are not in a race and you are not training to compete in the Olympics – what you are doing is adding a different activity to your weekly routine in order to be able to live a better, fitter life in the future!
When it comes down to it, we are ALL (ultimately) runners. Even those people (and I know a couple pretty well!) who tell me that they aren’t runner…well, physiology says that they are! – but what happened was ‘once upon a time’ they gave it a go, became disheartened by how hard it seemed and how ‘everyone else’ was “SO MUCH” better…so they gave up and decided their fitness path would be focussed on ‘other stuff’. Which is fine (of course it is – you should do whatever makes you happy) but running has been part of our evolution for thousands upon thousands of years…we are all (injuries aside) physically capable – what we aren’t is mentally conditioned to get through that first 4-6 weeks of ‘torture’!
Consistent effort is the key to becoming a ‘better’ runner. Running is a repetitive motion and every time you head out for a quick run (even something as short as a bin run which is about 400m) then you are taking 400-something steps…which is 400 chances to practice and imprint the motion. Not only that, you guys already training at Round 1 have an incredible advantage over other people who are starting off a running routine – doing squats, lunges and deadlifts (in particular) together with all the core work we do has given you a strong base to use when you run.
Unless you are sprinting (which has it’s own additional benefits – particularly for those people trying to add muscle mass) when you are running (and swimming for that matter) you will be able to perform better if you are RELAXED. Having a tense upper body when you run is just using up energy…there is no need to clench your fists – relax your hands. Think about being ‘LIGHT’ on your feet (tread ‘gently’) as well – keep your head still and just focus on what you are doing rather than how you might be feeling…as always, thinking about feelings whenever you are exercising is a BAD PLAN. Of course you have times when you are feeling ‘terrible’ – rather than allowing yourself to focus on ‘that’, think about being relaxed and taking the next step (or if you are in the gym, making sure that your next movement is ‘PERFECT’ whether it is a Jab, a push-up, a lunge or a whatever – focus on the WHAT not on the FEEL).
So – with 5x weeks until Christmas, here is what I would like to suggest for everyone:
Week 1 (November 23rd): Complete 1x HALF bin run (approx. 200m) after each class.
Week 2 (November 30th): Complete 1x BIN RUN (approx. 400m) after each class.
Week 3 (December 7th): Complete 2x BIN RUNS (back to back) after each class.
Week 4 (December 14th): Complete 1x BLOCK RUN (1.7kms) after each class.
Week 5 (December 21st): Well…just hang on a second and I’ll get to that!
Running 1.7kms might seem to be a pipe dream right now – but I guarantee if you simply follow the bouncing ball and increase your distance steadily that as long as you do each run twice per week you will 100% finish the block run WITHOUT STOPPING before Christmas comes around! The weather is AMAZING right now. Even the block run will only take around 8-minutes (good runners will finish in about 5mins!) to complete…getting this done isn’t a time thing – and it will really open up your training for the next 3-6 months or so until the weather turns ‘nasty’ again.
Right – Back to “WEEK 5”. Christmas week (which is of course followed by “Week 6” – New Year’s). Doing ANYTHING around this time is often more than anyone can handle (some days just getting up from your chair to visit the lolly tree counts as exercise!!) but…well…we are going to try and keep this going. No targets for classes, no targets for weight sessions…but we want to tick it over with THREE (3) x RUNS of ANY DISTANCE each week…if you are down the beach, run to the point and back…if you are home, run around the block. No stress and no pressure…but if you do the work for FOUR weeks, we just want to do ‘something’ in week 5 and week 6!
That’s it – see you in the gym!
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