I’m off to a great start on my road to my first Disneyland 5K, my first race at the happiest place on earth. I had started running 5K’s a few years ago and had to stop last October thanks to knee revision surgery. In the past year I worked on rehabbing my knee and now am finally able to pick it up again. For me, the journey is part of the joy of getting to the point where I can run these races and have fun.
For much of my adult life I hated running. I did it when I had to do it and not much else. I would do everything in my power to not run. What finally changed my perception of running was the realization that if I kept going the way I was, I would not be around to see my son grow up. So I started on the road to a healthy life.
Along the way I learned a few things that really helped me get moving and run my first 5K for fun.
1. Challenge yourself, give yourself a goal to shoot for as you train. For me it was getting ready to go out and run a 5K with my wife.
2. Do not, I repeat do not scrimp on your running shoes. A good pair of properly fitted running shoes will cost you about $80 to $100 dollars. The investment will pay off because you will enjoy the run more and reduce the likelihood of injuries. Ill-fitting running shoes could lead to injuries including shin splints.
3. When you first start off running, don’t focus on completing miles. Focus on running a minute at a time, balanced with a fast walk. The goal is to increase the amount of running you are doing and gradually eliminate the walks. Once you are running consistently you can then turn to the miles. By the time I ran my first race, those 3.1 miles just melted into a beautiful and serene run.
4. Run with your body relaxed. Don’t clench your hands into fists. Keep them loose, with the thumb on the outside. Keep your shoulders and jaw, yes your jaw, relaxed and loose. Far too often new runners tense these areas up causing significant strain and bringing unnecessary pain into their lives.
5. Your heart and lung capacity will gradually improve as you run making it easier to add speed and distance.
Check back again in a few days as I continue on my way to the Disneyland 5K with help and tips from my friends at Cigna.
Until next time my friends, love your kids,
Cherish your family.