Working Toward a Race? How to Ease Into Starting a Running Schedule
Completing a running race, whether it is a 5k or a full marathon, is an accomplishment that should always be celebrated. Running is very rewarding, both physically and mentally. However, it also requires a great deal of patience and determination. If you have been injured and went to an ankle & foot clinic to get healed, or if you just have not regularly gone on runs in recent months, fear not. There is no rush in getting back into the groove of being in shape so that you can compete in a road race in the coming months.
Picking a Race and Date to Work Towards
The length of the race you want to run in is dependent on how long your training schedule should be. It is recommended that you start with a shorter race, such as a 5k or 10k, before jumping into anything longer. Once you have your date sought out, keep it marked, so that you can motivate yourself to work towards your goals each day as you approach race day.
Weekly Mileage and Pace
In terms of weekly mileage, start out small and progress as you increase your endurance each week. If you have not consistently run for the past few months, you should only strive for about 10-12 miles in three separate runs per week for the first couple weeks. Remember, your joints have not been used to running in a while, so it is important to ease into your return to prevent injury. Your pace can also go from conversational to slightly faster each week as your mileage slowly increases.
Impact of Cross-Training and Tracking Your Runs
Cross-training is also suggested to sustain an injury-free body and to build strength on the days in which you are not running. Keeping track of your distances and times for each run is also important and proves to be a motivating factor in improving your pace. Make it a habit that you run a few times each week, so that you can stick to your schedule and remain engaged in easing back into running as you set personal goals.
Run with a Smile
The most important factor to consider while you train and ease yourself into a running schedule to prepare for a race is maintaining a positive attitude. Running is frustrating, and it cannot be perfected overnight. Trust your process, and just know that each run you complete benefits you, no matter how long or how fast. Before you know it, you will have worked yourself into great shape in perfect time for race day.