It was 2003 and I’d never run any kind of race before. I was doing my internship to finish up my degree and thought it would be fun to join everyone else in the gym in this “Main Street Mile”. It was only 1 mile so what do I have to train for? The day of the race they placed us in chorales based on speed. I’m fast, I knew I could run at a good pace so I made my way to the front. MAJOR mistake! The gun went off and we all started to run. I of course wanted to keep up so I started FAST. Well, by 1/4 miles into the run I was gassed. Everyone started to pass me real quick and I had to talk my way through the rest of the race. I had no idea a mile felt that long when you sprinted the first 1/4. I did complete the race in 7:24 but it took me the entire rest of the day to recover. And I probably could have done so much better if I knew to pace myself.
How many times have you busted your butt to complete something, then looked back and realized there was an easier way? Clearly, the least I should have done was practice running one mile properly. I think we all underestimate the importance of preparing ourselves for the tasks we have ahead. We need to prepare mentally and physically. How can we do this? We have to establish a plan. I could have easily asked a seasoned runner their advice on what I should have done to complete that mile (comfortably…) Don’t let you ego get in the way of asking someone for help. It will help you get through the task so much better and more prepared so you don’t end up killing yourself to get it done. So whether it is a fitness goal, nutrition goal, occupational goal, etc seek out someone who has completed that particular task before or a professional in the industry. You may learn quite a few things from their experiences that will save you time, money, or just physical stress.
So yesterday I went to drop my boys off at basketball conditioning and decided to go for a run. I typically do this while they are at practice knowing it’s the best use of my time. It was a little cloudy so I looked at my weather app and it said the clouds were moving north and the rest of the radar looked clear. Well about a mile into my run it was sprinkling a little. No problem, I can handle that and it even felt cool as I was running. About a half mile later it started down pouring. Ugh! I called my daughter to see if she could come pick me up and she came to find me. Well that didn’t go very well and I ended up running all the way back to the school. It wasn’t the most comfortable run, but I did finish my 3 miles so that made me feel much more accomplished than giving up. Initially, in my mind the run was ruined because it was raining buckets, but as I was running through it I was able to find my comfort zone and finish. Your mind has the ability to ruin your experience or make it more comfortable despite the circumstances. We all have things we can’t control that go on around us, but if we can learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable we will get so much more accomplished. The more you do this, the easier it will get and you will learn to reprogram your mind and not as much will stand in your way anymore. We tend to let our excuses dominate our thoughts. It’s just the easy way out, or so we think. Next time you are faced with an obstacle, stop and recognize how you are seeing it. Is there a way around it or is the rain not that bad that you can continue? That’s all up to you.
Exercise we all know if so good for us, but if we are constantly changing our routine on a daily/weekly basis we could be doing our body more harm than good. It is important to allow our muscles and systems in our bodies to adapt so we can get stronger, increase our endurance, and stay flexible. The biggest mistake most make is just winging it and not allowing your body to adapt to any routine. One week you do 2 bootcamp classes, the next week you run 10 miles, the following week you incorporate a yoga class etc. one bootcamp and a zumba class. Unfortunately this will not help your body adapt in any way thus you will not see the results you are looking for. Routine is one of the most important things when trying to reach your goals. We must stay focused and consistent. Do you like weight lifting, running, swimming, yoga etc?? All those activities are great and can be incorporated in any routine, but it takes balance to do this.
The way we piece together our routine is important too. We base this on our ultimate goals and we only adjust as our goals change. Whenever I work with athletes, I adjust their program based on whether they are in season or out of season. This is so important as not to hinder their performance when they are playing.
Do you have a routine established and actively in place? If you need help with how to do this, reach out to a qualified fitness professional and they will be able to give you a proper fitness assessment and help you put in place a routine that will get you to your goal.