My original appeal for running was in knowing that all I really needed were basic clothes and a pair of running shoes to go out for a run. I would put on some old shorts and a shirt, some comfortable socks (sometimes two pairs) and my department store (archaic) basic shoes to begin running. Times have changed, and so have my feet. Over the years I have evolved into learning the details that increase the fun and the longevity of running, allowing me to go farther. The bottom line is this: Face the challenge to become inspired and follow your passions. It takes mental focus to stick with any program or goal. Here are Ten Tips to Help You Go Farther with your exercise goals:
1. Practice Safety First. Avoiding injury and danger is essential. Prepare a complete emergency pouch in advance of your run. Wear the right equipment and take safety precautions. Long before you take the first three steps out of the door you need to address safety issues, and some issues might require some research on your part. The first and primary safety issue should be getting approval to exercise by a qualified medical expert. Second, in general, prepare for all the items you need for before, during, and after the run for your unique circumstances and conditions.
2. Commit to a program or coaching method that challenges you to a higher goal and give it ample time to work. Whether you decide to coach yourself (by following a general coaching regime) or you choose to have an actual coach who can evaluate your specific needs to design a unique plan based on your data, stick to it. Any legitimate plan will take a minimum of six weeks before you see the results begin to surface; be patient. Any questionable plan can show signs of aches and pains (potential injuries) much sooner. While sore muscles are expected with increased training, be sensitive to bone or tendon pain and be cautious of running too hard or too fast for your level of conditioning. When you follow a plan and monitor your body’s reactions (and adjust accordingly), you can achieve success.
3. Become coach-able. Listen to your aches and pains as well as your endorphin highs. Any good program will start you out slowly toward achieving any level of conditioning. Running slower at shorter distances builds the bone and body strength to eventually pile on increased speed work and distance. Be patient: speed and distance will increase. Laying the foundations and the proper stress on your body at any given level of athleticism is paramount so that the more intense training can occur with the least amount of injuries. Listen to your coach, listen to your body, and follow the plan.
4. Expand your horizons. Be up for the challenge. Allow yourself to be tested and stretched beyond your comfortable limits. Fulfill your sense of adventure. This is where a good coach can help guide you. I believe a coach’s real job is to “hold you back” until you are truly strong enough to go to the next level. A great coach knows when you are ready. While you desire to improve, also seek adventure. Find new places to run and enjoy. Include a picnic at the end of a run. Find a trail with a great view. Take pictures and keep a scrapbook or computer file. Journal your experiences about your expanded adventures.
5. Identify what your passion is and pursue it. After trying out new places to run, expand on the ones that you enjoy the most. Find your place, find your passion, find what drives you and inspires you to go out for the next run. Which run makes you feel the Runner’s High (or even the fringe of it?) Pursue those things that inspire you. Combine your passions (run with friends, take photos, etc.) Journal your progress.
6. Reassess your Priorities. Are you in, or are you out? We are all tempted to compromise, to give in and give up. While injury is a legitimate reason to taper off and rest, you can still maintain aspects of your program while recovering from an injury such as continuing to incorporate stretching, weight lifting (non-injured muscles), diet, hydration, and anything else that can contribute to your recovery. Practice time management. Set aside time for your training and follow through on whatever level you can accomplish for your circumstances.
7. Confront your Nemesis and find your Bliss. We all have that one thing (our Nemesis) that interferes with us being able to follow through with our goals. The bottom line is that your Nemesis is either allowed by you or not, you control the affect on your life. If you allow it, you give excuses to your Nemesis. In order to conquer it, you have to face the source and establish priorities that line up with your core goals. The true identity of your Nemesis looks back at you in your mirror. Are you having a conflict? Rewrite the goals in your core and they will take priority over the other things you previously allowed to interfere. This is finding your Bliss and freedom; conquering the things within you that block you from living your success.
8. Create your version of the Runner’s High. This is very basic: pursue the kind of training that gives you joy and passion, and keep repeating those things. Combine as many of the things you love into your running program that you can and try to discover new things along the journey.
9. Inspire yourself. Create reminders about your goals and reasons why you strive to achieve them. Write down your bucket list. Make a vision board. Remind yourself why you are training. Keep a photo on your phone of your goal or of a recent achievement and view it often. Create and update your vision board. Add inspirational quotes. (Growing up, I used to cut out headlines from the newspaper and pieced them together to create inspirational goals as an early version of a vision board.) With today’s technology, taking steps to inspire yourself should be easy to accomplish.
10. Bask in your success. Reward your mileposts along the way. Appreciate the mile-markers that others achieve and share in their success. Balance the nurturing of your dreams and goals with the reality of your otherwise routine obligations. Share your success with others. Inspire others to conquer their Nemesis and find their own version of the Runner’s High.
I am passionate about running in my KURU CARRERAs, as they allow me to go any distance I choose without injury or pain. They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever purchased or worn, and I wear them in all of my waking hours. I can’t imagine wearing any other pair of shoes after my success in these fabulous shoes. The KURU CARRERAs are an important part of my safety regime, allowing me to go further than I would in any other shoe. I encourage you to go further in your very own KURU shoes.