Happy new year!
One of my objectives this year is to run a half marathon, or 13.1 miles, by May. This is going to be an interesting challenge. I walk whenever possible, but I haven’t run long distances for some time. I started to get interested in running after hearing about Couch to 5K programs, but I held off on actually doing
the program. I’ve determined that I need to participate in a group environment, at least in the beginning, before I feel confident going out on my own.
The plan is to start now. There are multiple reasons why I’m beginning training this month:
-I need to find ways to healthfully (healthily?) reduce stress. In the past I would resort to overeating unhealthy junk foods as a cheap, mind-numbing way to “deal” with stressful situations. Moving towards a whole foods, plant-based diet has been key in helping me keep on track (I highly recommend Dr. Neal Barnard’s book Breaking the Food Seduction
). Incorporating more physical activity in my daily routine is another important step in managing stress, and is my overarching goal for the year.
-There are a number of half marathon training programs starting in the next couple of months. Many of the programs are inexpensive, and some, like the one
I signed up for, allow free access to their fitness center for the duration of the program.
-Personally, I’d rather train in the winter and be able to run long distances when the mild spring weather arrives. If I started in the spring then I’d have to deal with hot and muggy Indiana summers which would make me less inclined to continue. So far, the weather has been very mild. In the event it gets too cold or icy I can train indoors.
The training program requires participants to be able to walk or run a minimum of two miles at a 16-minute per mile pace on the first day of training, January 25. I spent the weekend mapping out 2 and 3-mile runs near my house and work. I’ve also created a tentative work out schedule:
Saturday & Sunday: yoga or workout at home (e.g., weights, sit-ups, push-ups, jump rope, etc.)