Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Steps for Beginning Runners

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Lao- Tzu

There is a reason why running is such a natural activity for children. It's fun and a form of play.

Running requires no special equipment except for a good pair of running shoes.
Running is fun for everyoneChildren who run in grade school or high school have been shown to do better in physical and cognitive tests than their inactive peers.

Another benefit to running is that kids are not dependent on the participation of others in order to exercise, so even if friends lose interest or are unavailable, kids who run can maintain their fitness. Running is a life sport; people of any age who discover running and keep it fun are likely to run for the rest of their lives, making it an especially good choice for aspiring fitness buffs of all ages.
After all, life long health and Everyone is a winnerfitness should be the ultimate goal for everyone.

For new runners joining the Gloucester Catholic Cross Country team we stress 3 things:
1.Goal Setting (what makes you want to get out there and run every day?)
2.Progression ( you have to work your way up to being able to race 3 miles from the fitness level you are starting at) and
3.Consistency (we use training logs to track daily summer training etc.)

Olympian and Running Author Jeff Galloway recommends absolute beginners start by alternating walking and running for about fifteen minutes, increasing the time spent doing both by 3 to 5 minutes until you reach 30 minutes. Then gradually increase the time spent running Christ the King Kids, Run Haddonfield NJuntil you can eventually eliminate walking from the session. "Regularity is extremely important during the first 8 weeks. If you run, even a little every other day your body makes the adaptations and starts to look forward to the experience. If you wait 3 days between runs, you start to lose the adaptations and your body complains at the beginning of each run. Getting into a habit is the most helpful way to make it past 3 weeks." Jeff Galloway's Getting Started

With a little bit of consistency and patience, you will be surprised how quickly you will become a runner. Keeping a running log or diary to chart your progress helps. After you start to feel comfortable Joe Henderson's Running Logrunning you may be interested in running a race or possibly joining a cross country or track team. Here some racing tips from Runner and Author Joe Henderson:
Browning Ross Bob Kupcha Run Mt Ephraim NJ
1) Run your own race. The other runners are there to help you run better than you could alone. You compete against yourself, the distance, the conditions and your previous times.

2) Race for PR's (your own personal records). This gives you a chance (but no guarantee) to win everytime.Kids Beach to Beacon run
3) Pace yourself evenly. Hold back early and hold on later. Your times will improve quickest this way.
4) Use races as training. You get better at racing by racing. No form of speed training is more effective than a race itself.
5) Run "overs-and-unders". Train for your race distance by going a little longer but at a slower pace. Train for your race speed by going a little faster but at a shorter distance.
6) Train hard-easy. You can't run hard all the time. More days of the week must be easy than hard.
7) Run regularly. You get back from this sport almost exactly what you put into it. If you run most days of the week and most weeks of the year--even easily, you will get better. If you don't you won't.Ross Kupcha races features a free kids race
Ross Kupcha Kids Run
Beach to Beacon Kids Run

Finally, here are some tips from some runners fairly new to the sport-- runners from the Gloucester Catholic Cross Country Team:

"Running is a great sport because you get out of it what you put into it." Catherine Kain
"Try your best everyday, don't walk and do the best you can." Tommy Flynn
"Try your hardest all the time and always stay hydrated." Joe Usher
"Running is all about dedication. A beginning runner should know that you have to work from the ground up. It's like any other sport, to be good you must practice. If you don't practice you will do poorly. The difference is that in running nothing goes to waste. You can shoot 1000 free throws and may not grow noticeably in skill. But if you run 1000 miles the work will pay off-- your running skills will increase greatly." Alex Hickman
Coach Sidoti

"The will to succeed comes from within. When you hit the wall, dig deep and run through it." Joe Lafferty

"As Jack (a cross country coach) told me when I was starting out: "It's just as easy to run as it is to walk-- and you get done a lot quicker!" Coach Tony Sidoti (who ran a marathon after only a little over a year of running.)

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