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SFTC Summer Training Program: Training Tips - Week 3
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Jogging Group Tip of the Week - Excuses

Anyone can think of excuses to not exercise:
       It hurts. I don't have time. I didn't bring my running clothes. I'm tired.

You CAN control your destiny more than you think.

Is it an injury or just sore muscles? Ultimately you have to decide and be honest with yourself either way. Usually there's a difference between a sharp pain (injury!) and a dull soreness. Get to know your body and listen to it.

Don't have time? If you put your mind to it, I'm sure that you can find new time or eliminate wasted time. It may not be there every day, but with a determined mind you should be able to squeeze a few minutes here and there. Be creative. Go walking or jogging while your kids practice soccer. Jog during your lunch hour. Ask your boss if you can work "flex time"... arrive early and leave early so you can run before you go home.

So you didn't bring your running clothes? Shame on you! You should always take your running clothes with you. Even if the forecast calls for rain. Even if you have a late meeting scheduled. Even if you're supposed to pick up the kids at X-o'clock. The point is, occasionally you'll be surprised and the weather will be pretty, the meeting will be cancelled, or the kids will stay late for orchestra practice. You can't control those things, but you can be ready for them and pounce on the opportunity when luck swings your way.

You're tired? Being too tired to go running is a common excuse. Often once you have run for a few minutes you'll be surprised that you're not as tired as you thought you were. Sometimes some of your best training runs happen on the days that you thought you were too tired to run.

Do you see a pattern here? You've got to make up your mind that you ARE going to exercise and only the biggest obstacles will prevent you from accomplishing that. It won't always work out in your favor, but if you *try* to exercise 7 days a week and you fail 50% of the time, you're still being active 3 or 4 days. That's perfect!

Track Group Tip of the Week - Pace

The track is an excellent place to work on learning your pace. Some people run a mix of different things, like 200's, 400's, 800's, and 1200's. Other runners like to run one thing each week (like this week 1200's), and try to run each interval at about the same pace. That helps you learn to pace. And being able to control your pace is much better than burning out early.

The markings on a track give you several chances to monitor your pace. Starting out too fast? No problem. You can find out in the first 100 meters (1/4 lap) and ease back if necessary. These checks help keep your mind focused because you're getting an additional MATH workout for your mind!

Also, let's focus on relaxing. I know the track workout is more intense than jogging on the road. The tendency is to tense up because you are trying to run faster. Actually, the more you can relax, the faster you will go. Try to relax your shoulders and arms especially. Avoid bunching your shoulders up around your neck. Even relax your face... even to the point of making it feel like your cheeks are just flopping around! This may sound silly, but it works. If you feel your arms or shoulders getting tight, swing them around to loosen them up.