Barb’s Training Update #3
Life vs. Training
By Barbara Comito, UGM Director of Marketing
Well, back on January 25 when I started this training, I had hoped I would be much farther along a week and a half before the Hunger Run. Honestly, I thought I’d be down 10 pounds, easily doing 100 kettle bell swings and ready to run this thing from start to finish.
Alas, my expectations were probably a tad unrealistic. Plus, life managed to get in the way somehow. I got sick. My daughter went into the hospital. Then there was the overtime, the night class, the interviews, the deadlines, the tiramisu (ah, the tiramisu)…I just couldn’t seem to make training my top priority.
But here’s one thing I’ve learned: When it comes to training/getting in shape, perfection is definitely the enemy of good. When I beat myself up for how little progress I’ve made, it makes me want to quit. It makes me feel like I will never reach my desired goals, so why don’t I just pick up some large French fries on the way home and crash on the couch?
Here’s what I’m trying to tell myself instead: Tuesday, as part of the No Boundaries 1 training group at Fleet Feet, I ran for 3 minutes, walked for 1 minute and repeated that 5 times. Yay, me! I have been consistent in running two to three times a week. I have gotten to know some cool people. I love being in Riverfront Park; I’ve noticed statues I’ve never noticed before. I’m part of a fun community of people who are trying to improve their lives through exercise. Again, yay, me!
And the cool people at Fleet Feet have taught me a bunch of stuff about making this whole fitness thing more fun:
- Breathe. Granted, that seems like a no brainer, but this is probably the hardest part of running for me. My breathing tends to get very rapid when I start running, and when it gets rapid, it gets shallow. I don’t fill up my lungs, which makes me breathe all the faster, and then I start to panic a bit. Julie Pannell, Fleet Feet owner and trainer, said it’s important to inhale deeply, slow down your breathing and fill up your lungs. She suggested this simple illustration. “If I ask what you had for breakfast, you should be able to say, ‘I had a bowl of Grape Nuts.’ If you start telling me how you got out the sauté pan, melted the butter and beat the eggs, you’re probably not going fast enough.”
- Posture. Keep your head up. Pretend someone is pulling a string from the top of your head. You can also make a tri-pod with your fingers; put your pointer under your chin and your thumb and pinky on your chest.
- Arm swing. Keep your arms at your side, bent at a 90-degree angle, resting just above your hips. Put the momentum into the back swing.
- Cadence. I don’t have this one figured out yet, but the trainers say it’s better to take more frequent, smaller steps than to take great strides.
- Lean. Keeping your head up, lean forward at the chest. Again, I don’t have this one mastered by any means, but the lean is supposed to increase your speed (not something I’ve been terribly concerned about).
Finally, remember the principle of inertia. Your body can get pretty happy not moving or moving at a leisurely pace. The beginning of every run is going to be the hardest. Push through. Enjoy the beauty. Enjoy the people you’re with, and most of all, celebrate your progress! At least, that’s what I’m going to try to do.