We are three weeks away from the annual SPCA Santa Paws 5K race! Are you a seasoned runner or just beginning? Or maybe only lacing because you love animals that much?
SPCA ambassador dog Miles has been giving his advice for pups preparing for the run on the 5K website, but we wanted to make sure the humans were equally prepared!
Here are some great running tips for beginners from Brian Fowler, training program coordinator and coach at Fleet Feet Sports Raleigh.
- Focus on your breathing, not your pace. Only run or run/walk as fast as you can breathe. If you control your breathing, you'll control your heart rate. If you control your heart rate, it's just a matter of gently stretching out your endurance.
- Run for time, not for distance. The clock is always running, even if you're taking a walk break to catch your breath. Don't worry about how much ground you're covering at the start, just be consistent in your effort; in time, the distance will take care of itself. Just be consistent through your run on that day and through the week and you'll see results very quickly.
- Don't be afraid to take a walk break here or there. Walking here and there can give you a chance to catch your breath and get you pulse back under control. Whether you do planned walk breaks every couple of minutes or take 30 seconds to walk it out after pushing to the top of a tough hill, "walk" should never be a four-letter-word!
- Make your running work around your personal schedule, not the other way around. Running should be something you look forward to, even if you have a love-hate relationship with it! If you have to start sacrificing other things you enjoy doing you'll turn running into a chore and find every excuse in the book to not lace up your shoes.
- Find some running partners!We joke with our Fleet Feet Training Program participants that "misery loves company" but, truth be told, having running partners helps keep you accountable and helps add laughs and smiles to your miles. Also, having that bit of social time helps you be more consistent with your running/walking, and consistency is what it's all about!
- Remember, let your running be about YOU, not what someone else is doing! If you're just starting out there's no reason to compare what you're able to do with what someone who has been running for 10 years is doing. Give yourself a chance to be a beginner, make it all about being a better you today than you were yesterday, and enjoy your journey into fitness and overall wellness.
- Join us November 20th at Dorothea Dix Park for both competitive and recreational races! Dogs included in both categories! Visit the Santa Paws 5K website today!