By Coach Anthony Ferraro
It was New Year’s Day at the Town Lake Trail. Robbie was wearing his brand new workout gear from top to bottom, and playing his favorite tunes on his earphones. He was ready to start the New Year tackling his resolutions. Ready to conquer that trail. The 4-mile loop. If everything went well, the 7-mile loop. How difficult could it be?! Robbie was fired up...He started running, fast…The music encouraged it, his running gear screamed for speed. He passed a few people and quickly disappeared into the trail.
A mile down the road, he had to stop. He was breathing heavily and could not continue his run. Everything seemed so perfect one mile earlier. The mindset and motivation, the music, the adrenaline. And now this…What went wrong?
When we set our New Year’s resolutions, we often want to conquer the world right away and we tend to forget that we need to take baby steps with them, as with every new activity we engage on. We need to remember that we also need to have fun, if we are to keep coming back and sticking with it for the long run (pun intended).
When we get on the trail, it is not about running faster than everybody else. If other runners pass us, so what? We are doing our own workout, not theirs. Let them pass us. We will keep training, getting better, day after day, week after week. Before we know it, we will be able to keep up with them, and eventually it will be us who pass them. We will be able to run 1 mile, and then 4, and a few weeks later 10 miles. A marathon and even more if we want to…
So how do you get to running long and fast and actually having fun while at it? Start slow so that you can finish fast. Pace yourself so you can go the whole distance. If you have to walk at first, so be it. Make sure you are enjoying your run. Absorb the beauty of the landscape around you. If you don’t carry music with you, listen to the music of your footsteps. Then the next day, go a little faster. The hard workout of today will be your warm-up in a few weeks. Stick with your workout routine, day after day, week after week. You will have fun and keep coming back for more. One more mile, one minute faster... Always forward. Never stopping. That is all it is. As yourself, are you ready to make your resolutions a life-long adventure? Get out here and get ready, because we start today…
Anthony is a Nike+ Run Club Coach, a Personal Trainer at UT RecSports, a Strength and Conditioning Coach, and a marathon runner. He lives in Austin, Texas and spends a lot of time around the 40 Acres. If you see him around, don't hesitate to say hi!