Last year, my girlfriend, mentor, running coach and fellow blogger Jessica set a goal to run 1000 miles in 2012. She made it on December 16. I never thought of setting a goal like that on mileage. I’m not sure where she got the idea, but my friend Gretchen who is just starting to run again, set that goal for herself in 2013. I asked her about it, and she said it’s only 2.7 miles per day or 19 miles per week. That’s doable!
I have plenty of guy friends who run, but I don’t find that we think the same way about running. I get most of my inspiration for running from women, and I typically have trained with women, especially when I trained for my first marathon. We just hang together. The guys I know get more into the splits, speed, time, gadgets, and competitive part of it more than I do. I know one guy that totally gets into the whole science and training his body for speed. Heavens...I don’t have the patience for that. I just want to be healthier, have fun and look decent in my skinny jeans.
Jeff Galloway, the king of helping new runners start running, wrote a book called “Running Until You are 100.” He has some great books. They are easy to read, motivational, and his passion is getting new people running and keeping them running and ENJOYING it. He was an Olympian marathoner who continues to run marathons, and he’s in his late 60s now. His website is full of helpful information. His running plans feature his run-walk-run method. He believes, and I concur, that every time you take a walk break, your body recovers from the previous run. Since you are recovering while you are running, you end the run or race feeling great! It’s especially helpful for us older runners whose bodies don’t recover as quickly.
I have run 3 marathons (that’s 26.2 miles of pounding pavement) using the run-walk-run method. I went shopping after one of my marathons because I saw this great little tea shop during the race. In Chicago, I felt good enough the next day to go sightseeing with a friend in Chicago, walking the entire time. If you’ve ever watched people walk who’ve run a marathon the day before, it’s not a pretty sight. They can hardly walk the next day. Even if you don’t want to run a marathon, the run-walk-run method is a great way to get started running in a gentle and accessible way, no matter what age you are.
So, thanks to Jessica and Gretchen, I’ve decided to run 1000 miles this year! I know that when I run regularly, I have to take care of myself better. I have to eat better to feel better for my runs. I have to make exercise a priority. I have to sleep to recover. But, the good news is that I also sleep better, feel better, have more energy AND look better BECAUSE of the running! So, all of that just happens naturally with focusing on ONE goal.
I’d love for you to join me on this quest. And, don’t limit yourself to just running. If you’re just starting out or don’t want to start running, make your walking miles count to 1000. You can get out and walk your dog for 3 miles a day (45 min to an hour) and make your dog happy and accomplish your goal, too. If you walk him or her three times a day for 15 min, you’d probably have it. You don’t have to do it all at once!
Possible combinations to meet your time schedule:
- Run or walk 2.7 – 3 miles every day
- Run or walk 4 miles five days per week
- Run or walk 3 miles five days per week and 5 miles one day per week
- Run or walk 2 miles per day during the week and do 2 walk/run 5 milers on the weekend
- Any other combination that works for you!
If you do this, it will be a challenge. I’ll bet you’ll look better, feel better and be in better mental health by the end of 2013. Who knows, you might even have some new friends! Maybe we can even get together for a race or two at some point. If you want to join in, let me know here or on my Midlife Moments Blog Facebook page. Forget all of those boring dieting and “need to exercise resolutions” and just focus on this one thing. Every journey begins with the first step! You can do it!