As we start a new year, many of us evaluate our fitness goals. For you, this may be the perfect time to recommit to a running schedule after a few weeks of holiday chaos and consumption. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete, the Rackets and Runners community is here to help you set realistic running goals for 2020.
Here are 5 tips to help you get started and stay on track:
- Baby Steps
Be realistic. The general rule is to increase your training volume and intensity by no more than 10% each week. If you are targeting the Sun Run in April and are new to running, start with a regular walking program and slowly introduce jogging. For example, if you can comfortably walk for one hour, try a program with timed walk-run intervals that gradually increase on a weekly basis. This approach helps with a) building stamina and b) developing strength by introducing stress to the body in a controlled manner.
- Treat your Body Well
Running is a demanding sport on the body. Along with adapting to stress, the body requires rest, massage, proper training, strengthening and support in order to prevent injury and to perform at its best. Products such as massage sticks and foam rollers increase flexibility and improve range of motion. Other items like over-the-counter inserts provide more stability, especially for those with excessively pronated feet. Visit Rackets and Runners to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members to learn about the benefits of proper training and supplementary external aids.
- Work with What You Have
Unlike many other sports that require driving to a gym or costly gear, running is an activity with parameters largely under your control: you can run in the company of others at a local park or you can run solo in the morning before work for however long you choose. Your “gym” begins at your doorstep.
Time is also a limited commodity, but, luckily, you still get to decide what to do it. Be productive with whatever you have at your disposal. Even if you cannot finish your scheduled 30-minute run, get out the door anyway and accomplish what you can. Something is always better than nothing, and each completed workout helps develop routine and commitment.
Once you get your first few steps in, the rest of the run will come one its own. Just get one foot out the door.
- Be Prepared with the Essentials
Running is a fairly low-cost sport that calls for little financial investment.
The first order of business is a pair of comfortable, well-fitted shoes. After all, your feet, and whole body for that matter, will be subjected to a lot more impact when compared to walking.
There are so many different models in the market that it can be overwhelming to navigate. At Rackets and Runners, our team members will share their extensive product knowledge and expertise to find you the best shoe for your foot. You are even welcome to book a time for a one-on-one footwear consultation to ensure you get the attention you need, at a time that suits you.
We also ask that you bring in your old shoes. They help us select the right new pair for you, and if you like, we will wash and donate them to the less fortunate on the Downtown Eastside as part of our Shoe Renu program.
- Join the Club
Running is a language of its own. Runners of all abilities understand the pressure, the fun, the races, the hope, and the struggle that comes with a sport that is a part of our natural human movement.
The coaches and folks at Oak Street Runners want to be a part of your journey. Our community offers a supportive network made up of enthusiastic and kind runners that will help you stay inspired. Drop by sometime and explore new routes around town with us. We promise you – it’ll be a good time in good company!