The secret to make running easy and still getting results part 1.
Practice, practice, practice. I hate to be the barer of bad news, but there is no secret remedy to making running an easy thing to do, the only way to get better is to run consistently, do everything in moderation, and have a plan of attack. Whether you’re training for a fun run with friends and you don’t want to embarrass yourself, or you are looking to find ways to improve your race times and overall health. Consistency is key. Set a time to run every day whether it’s early in the morning or after work, set a schedule and keep it! It won’t just help your recovery; it will also help you get your butt out the door.
The more you take care of your body, the easier it will be to progress over time. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat a piece of chocolate cake or indulge in a glass of wine ever again. The key to everything is moderation. I believe that you can eat whatever you want as long as you don’t binge eat it. Being a collegiate athlete in both cross country and track, I used to think that I had to cut out all my favorite junk foods out of my diet in order to be healthy and get the results that I wanted. I lasted a solid month without any greasy or junk foods and then one day I caved and binge ate a crap ton of bad food. If you’re one of those people that can eat healthy 24/7 and don’t need any sweets or greasy foods to be satisfied, then more power to you. Unfortunately, that is not how my body or brain functions, and it’s healthy to treat yourself every once and awhile. Running is meant to be a healthy and fun activity, not something that you dread doing everyday. My best cross country season was when I was eating dark chocolate almost every day after lunch. Something I have found that works for me is eating one or two squares of the 70% or greater dark chocolate candy bar. And that would somehow halt my cravings at night for a greasy bag of potato chips, or going to the store and buying a gallon of ice cream.
The third “Secret” to making running easier is to have a plan of attack. There will always be modifications or other changes that you will need to make but your plan doesn’t have to be set and stone.
Below I have a sample running plan of a 2 week progression for someone that has been inconsistently running on and off, but has established a baseline. If you’re someone that runs a few times a year cut down the mileage substantially at first and then slowly work up to this. And if you’re an individual who races frequently and runs more mileage just use this as a guideline to know when you should take rest days and get a better idea of a routine if you don’t have one already.
|Week 1||Easy run for 10-15 minutes.||Easy 20 minute run and stretching emphasis||Cruise run for 30 minutes
Abs and circuits
|Bike for 30 minutes OR Day Off||Cruise run for 35 minutes. Abs and circuits||OFF DAY||Long run for 37 minutes. 1-3 strides|
|Week 2||Easy run for 20 minutes.||Cruise run for 30 minutes.||Cross train for 30 minutes.||Cruise run for 25 minutes.||Cruise run for 38 minutes. Abs and circuits.||OFF DAY||Long run for 43 minutes. 1-3 strides|