Think about your goal for the WCR clinic. Is it to learn to run, build endurance, lose weight, increase speed or distance, meet friends? Maybe it is all of these or something else. Create a goal that you know you can achieve and stick with it. Start a journal and write down your goal. After each clinic session, write down how you felt, what you achieved, what you learned. This is a great way to see your progress each week.
Results don’t happen overnight. The clinic is 10 weeks to allow enough time to see improvement without doing too much too fast. Be patient with yourself and give yourself a break if it takes you longer than you thought to achieve your goal. Just keep moving forward.
You need to be moving 3 days a week to see results. As a beginner, this is enough to build your endurance and see results. Over time you will want to increase to 4-6 days a week to continue to improve. If you cannot attend one of the clinic sessions, it is best to walk/run on your own time. If you are a runner and can’t seem to find the time, keep in mind that walking is just as beneficial to your training and helps you build endurance with less impact. Most of the time you can fit in a 20 minute walk and don’t even have to change your clothes. To avoid making excuses, keep your walking/running shoes in your car. You may find a time in your day you didn’t know you had to walk or run.
New walkers and runners should take off a day in between workouts. Experienced runners need to take off 1-2 days a week. Recovery time helps avoid injury, fatigue, and burnout.
Pay attention to your body cues. If you are starting to feel sick or are more tired or more sore than normal, take a day off. Your body needs time to rebuild after a workout. You will not gain any fitness by pushing yourself when you don’t feel your best.
Practice your Form
Proper walking and running form is critical and it takes practice. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask someone. It is better to admit you need help than to stop the program altogether because of injury. You can practice form in front of a mirror, on a treadmill, or outside. Remember to keep your knees bent, feet low to the ground, and shuffle your feet rather than bouncing and landing on your heels. Refer to the blog post, The Cadence Count, to refresh on proper form.
Pat yourself on the Back
Just by signing up for the program shows that you are interested in improving your lifestyle.
Do your best to stick with this 10 week commitment and it will change your life for the better. Each week, you are improving your health, your mind, and your body. You deserve this time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty for being away during the clinic time. You are making your health a priority and you will perform better for others if you are taking care of yourself.
Exercise shouldn’t be dreaded and add more stress to your already hectic day. If walking and running doesn’t motivate you, let us help you find something that does. There are so many options out there. The idea is to move your body and clear your mind. You can listen to music while you walk and run, watch TV, or just think. Some of the best ideas are discovered during exercise when your mind is not focused on other tasks.
Remember, all it takes to become a walker or runner is One Step at a Time!