We’ll be posting a new challenge every day leading up to summer! Follow along here on the blog, or using this calendar.
People seem to fall into one of two categories: those who enjoy running, and those who don’t. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to love running to become a runner. Crazy, right?
So today’s challenge is simple: go for a run.
For some of you, this will be easy. For the rest of you, we turned to Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes for tips on how to get started.
Five minutes flies by when you’re doing something enjoyable; five minutes seems like an eternity when you’re doing something painful. But those five minutes could be the best investment of your life.
My advice to someone just getting started is to run for time, not distance. You won’t need any fancy GPS watches and you won’t need to measure your route, all you’ll need is a simple wristwatch or a stopwatch (wearing a Fitbit can also be useful if you want to quantify how many steps you took).
Try to run continuously for five minutes. Use any course you’d like, around your neighborhood or around a park. Just set your watch and go for five.
The biggest mistake I see in people newly starting out is that they take off too quickly. Remember, this is not a sprint; this is an exercise to remain in continual forward motion until the target time-goal has been reached. Even a highly trained athlete would find it challenging to sprint full speed for five continuous minutes. That is not the objective here. The purpose is to train yourself to regulate your pace to remain in nonstop motion until the requisite time you’ve established for yourself has been achieved.
Once you’re able to run or jog continuously for 5-minutes, try increasing the duration for an additional 5-minutes every other week, ultimately working toward being able sustain uninterrupted forward momentum for 30-minutes. Again, the goal is to self-regulate your pace to complete the target time without stopping. Measuring your steps can be a self-affirming way to track your progress.
During the progression upward from 5-minutes, learn to push your pace as fast as you can so that you arrive completely spent, while still being able to reach this requisite time goal without having to stop and catch your breath along the way.
This approach teaches you discipline and helps build confidence as you strive to accomplish progressively longer goals.
And it all starts with a simple 5-minute investment.
Happy stepping, everyone! And let us know how you did in the comments, or by using #30DaysToSummerFit.