Monday, July 7, 2008

3 Keys to Successful Running

I wanted to share a conversation that Peter A. and I had a few weeks ago as we rode over to the Magnum Shirt Run. Peter is involved in a Runner's 101 program and has the huge responsibility of helping new Runners begin their running journey. I am sure he is always looking to get new ideas to share.

As we rode along our conversation jumped from topic to topic. Almost all of them were related to running. I am don't remember how we navigated to the topic of successful running, but I recounted that I had come across 3 keys to any successful running endeavor. These keys are nothing earth shattering and I confess that I am not the originator these keys. But I do give my self credit for recognizing a good ideas when I read or hear them.

These 3 keys are: Rest, Consistency, and Diet.

Rest: Each person has their needs for rest. But if you are starting runner or you have increased your training miles, there is a good chance that your body can use some extra rest. As I increase my mileage, I try to hit the bed around 10 instead of 11. During my Marathon training, I will even try to hit the bed around 9 pm. I know my body needs a good 8 hours of sleep per night. After a 20+ miler, I have been known to sleep 8 to 10 hours. Although, it doesn't happen very often. My daughters are usually up at the crack of dawn.

Consistency: Let me start off by saying consistency doesn't have to mean running everyday. But it does mean running regularly. If you are a new runner, consistency for you may mean running 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 days per week. For someone else it may mean running track workouts on Wednesday and Long Runs on Sunday. Consistency means to me that over a given period of time, you are getting out the door for those runs. So relax, if you miss a speed session, long run, or just a day of training, just remember be consistent and go for those runs.

Diet: This is the most interesting one. I found my self bouncing between a strict and loose diet. When I am training for a specific event, I usually watch what I am eating. I focus on eating lots of natural fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water. During my loose periods, I will enjoy a hot cup of tea, or a soda, or being from the south, a large glass of sweet ice tea. I found that even doing my down periods I don't indulge in what I call bad foods. I eat some chicken and fish. I eat lots of pasta dish. I seem to avoid potato chips even thou a I love them. I might grab a bag of M&M once every couple of months. I had to move to the fat free French Chocolate Bryers Ice Cream. We all have our vices. The important thing is to focus on having a heathly diet as much as humanly possible.

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