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Getting in Running Shape

Written by Savannah Marie, Community Blogger | Mar 26, 2014 11:13 AM

I made some pretty hefty goals in my previous post, The Quarter of a Century Birthday Blues. Actually, the only hefty goal I made was to run a marathon in the next 25 years. I do love running, but my running schedule has become quite sporadic since moving to Harrisburg. However, spring is the perfect time to kick-start a new running routine. In order to achieve optimal success, I've created a list of steps that will ensure a successful training schedule and survival. 

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1.    Get My Gear

A running specialty store is essential for choosing the right running shoe. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a shoe, such as pro nation, stability and arch support, so it’s important that I pick out the pair that’s best suited for my needs.

2.    Do Some Drills

Before I really dig in to my running schedule, it’s a good idea to develop a good running form right from the beginning. Now is the time to practice running correctly so I won't have to go back and fix any bad habits later on. Take it from me,  it’s extremely hard to fix a bad running form once it’s become a habit.  My practice drills will include:

High Knees:

High knees are where you practice driving your leg up towards your chest so that, as the name implies, you are lifting your knees high. Focus on quick turnover while performing the drill and driving your arms high along with your knees. 

Butt Kicks:

In this drill, you want to focus on extending your leg back so that your foot is literally kicking your butt.  Like the high knees drill above, this drill helps you improve your range of motion so that you can run with more efficiency. 

Fast Feet:

Fast feet are my favorite drill! With the fast feet drill, you should be focusing on crossing your feet over each other, left over right and right over left, doing so in a quick rhythm so that you practice a quick turnover. The faster your feet can move, the faster you will be able to run! 

3.    Build My Strength

It's time for me to become reacquainted with my kettle bells . Upper body lifting, squats and leg presses will give my quadriceps the strength they need to power through my run, while good mornings and dead lifts strengthen hamstrings. It's essential to devote equal time and attention to hamstrings and quads because if one muscle group becomes stronger than the other, it could cause the weaker muscle group to strain and become torn. 

4.    Ease Into It

Just like you don’t go zero to sixty miles an hour within a minute of pulling out of your driveway, it's important for me to ease into my running routine. The key is to alternate between running and walking. I use timed intervals to track my workouts. Eventually, the intervals will increase the time that i'm running and decrease the time that i'm walking so that eventually i'm just running.

5.    Rest and Recover

Recovering from the physiological and psychological stresses of daily training is important to the success of the training schedule. My favorite recovery methods include getting a massage, using a rehab therapy pool or taking a day off running to use the bike or elliptical. Ironic as it sounds, running hard every single day can actually be counterproductive; because it’s during the time when you’re resting that your muscles repair and become stronger. 

 

Running, in my opinion, is the best form of exercise, but  to get the most out of it, I have to be smart about the transition. However, if I follow my steps carefully, I'll be on the right track for my marathon!

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