Running is a Great Way
to get Fit!

Try this running fitness training plan to improve your fitness level and enhance your sports performance.

I have always enjoyed going for a long, steady run. I love that 'runner's high' that you get when you reach a certain point in your pavement pounding...that rush of endorphin is the BEST! But I have not always been consistent in my path to temporary nirvana so I want to share some tips on getting started with your training, following a training plan and keeping the momentum going.

One of my favorite plans has been a 12 week plan that starts out with jogging in small increments and steadily building up to where you are running for 60 minutes straight. 

The idea and goal behind this sports fitness training plan is to slowly build up your joints and tendons strength to handle the impact of your body weight constantly on your ankles, knees and hips. It may not seem like a lot but believe me, you avoid a lot of pain and possible injury this way, not to mention burning out.

A lot of us women start out on a fitness training plan in order to lose weight, because this type of cardiovascular exercise is an outstanding and proven way to drop the pounds and burn fat, not to mention getting you a pair of show-stopping legs. 

But if you don't take it slow and jump right into jogging a mile the first day or first week (this is for those that have not been consistently going on runs already), you run the risk of messing up your knees, over stressing the tendons in your feet and ankles as well. 

Benefits? It's cheaper than paying for a gym membership, all you need is a good pair of tennis shoes, some comfy weather-appropriate workout clothes and a path - it can be in a park, the sidewalk down your neighborhood street or a trail made specifically for exercising. 

Tips to start:

- Get prepared physically by eating healthy, stretching before each workout and hydrating yourself with lots of water. Water with lemon or citrus slices adds those much-needed electrolytes that plain water doesn't have to replenish us.

- Get prepared mentally and psychologically by visualizing yourself moving from point A to point B and being able to complete it.

- Get inspired and stay motivated by joining a local group that goes on regular runs and tries out different trails or paths. 

- Get fitted at your local sporting goods store that sells shoes made specifically for running. 

- Try getting a workout partner to help you stay motivated and accountable to your fitness goals. He or she will make sure you show up on those early mornings!

- Start with a walk/run plan to avoid injury, proper strength building for your legs, knees, ankles and feet and to avoid burning out. Reaching those goals every week will keep you motivated and ready to try what's next!

- Tackling your plan slowly will give your body a chance to get acclimated to the new demands that are being put on it. Remember, you are all of a sudden putting new oxygen and efficiency demands on your systems. Give it some time!

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