The Friends and Family Health Centers team is living the five foundations of health through competing in local and regional races. In October, we have several team members signed up for the Xterra races at Red Mountain, and one of our team members has signed up for a half marathon in New Orleans! Signing up for a race challenges us to be better by taking care of ourselves through fitness. Training for a race takes mental and physical discipline to prepare daily. Research actually suggests that these events are often more of a mental challenge than physical, especially when it comes to endurance events. It’s a good idea to figure out what you want out of signing up for a race. This helps you to eliminate any negativity that may be associated with daily training. Focus on why you want to get fit—sentimental reasons, hanging out with friends, competitiveness, or to just accomplish something you have never done before. Keep that goal in your mind’s eye as the weeks go by in training. Each time that you get out and train, your confidence will grow. Keep records in a fitness journal or download an app like Strava™. I have personally tried a fitness journal before, only to lose it or not be able to find it when I need it. Strava™, on the other hand, will track your route, pace, and keep a handy record of what you have done. This will literally astound you in what you have accomplished as you look back over it. Download Strava™ now! :-)Training is a process and a journey. You are really competing against yourself. It is great for realizing the potential that lies within you to do something that maybe you didn’t think you had in you. Then, when race day comes, all that preparation pays off. Make sure you are already signed up for that second race so you don’t miss a beat. Here are a few things to remember as you start this process of training.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you slip up and miss a training session, it’s okay. In the overall scheme of things, it is not a matter of missing the miles, but more about getting to the race that you have prepped for. Remember that you are competing against yourself to be better than you were yesterday.
- Listen to your body. You listen to your body by not training too much at the beginning. Start out small by training just a few days a week. If you are starting from no training days a week, then a smart goal is to get in three days a week of 30 minutes of physical activity based on what race you have signed up, for whether that is running, swimming, cycling or kayaking … Listening to your body includes getting plenty of rest, water, and nutrients so that recovery is possible.
- Keep it in perspective. Don’t beat yourself up. If you find yourself micromanaging every little detail of training, try to make it into something more positive and playful. Think to yourself that this is your time to play. Try to train at different locations if at all possible. Don’t be too rigid on how you get it done; just get it done