Beginning a training program can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially if you are a first-timer. I always like to encourage my runners to “train to train” in order to build a comprehensive and sustainable framework for the upcoming season. It’s nearly impossible to successfully complete a training program without laying down a solid foundation. Leading up to the “official” start of the season, here are three “best practices” you can put in place to increase your likelihood of achieving your goals:
Fix your sleep and your food. Health and wellness begins in the bedroom and in the kitchen. I’m not suggesting a complete revamp of your existing patterns or diet, just suggesting mindful consideration of what you are doing outside of your workout. If 23 hours of your day are not supporting the 60 minutes you spend working out, then that time is simply wasted. Stay away from blue light at least 30 minutes before you crash, keep your bedroom cool and eat fresh, whole foods as often as possible.
Dress for success. Waking up early to get to the gym is hard enough, so set yourself up for success by doing the little things like packing your gym bag and your lunch the night before. We all know what excuses we’ll use to talk ourselves out of a workout, so forecast them and prepare yourself so they become invalid. Your existing behavioral patterns will not magically change overnight when training begins, so start creating healthy habits now!
Consult a qualified medical professional. This is especially important if you seem to be chronically injured, have nagging issues or are just concerned about starting a new exercise regimen. While any program can be adapted to fit your individual needs, it’s good to start off with a clean bill of health and the green light from your physician.