race2Last week, I tricked you into … I mean I explained that you too, can be a runner/walker. This week, you get to start to follow a schedule!

Stop the habit of running/walking when you have time (No one has time). Plan the time you run. For the workouts to get done, they will need to be scheduled. Put your daily run in your appointment book and give it the same priority of any other scheduled meeting.

When a friend calls to invite you to dinner at 7 PM on a night you have scheduled a 6:30 PM run/walk, explain that you have a late appointment but you can make it at 8 PM or perhaps another night. Am I suggesting you lie? Hmmm … if you tell them you are going out running, you may alienate your friends and family. Selfish? No, becoming a slob, having a heart attack or stroke and then needing someone to feed you with a spoon would be selfish! Hey, my job as coach is to get you motivated … even if I have to use the Dr. Laura approach to shock you out the door!

With the information that follows, you can write your own schedule, one that fits the parameters of your life. The schedule should alternate hard and easy days. Easy days are short days or days off. Start with 2 weeks of every other day running/walking with one long run/walk day. Take a day off on either side of the long run/walk day. Start with a mile every other day and a two-mile long day, run or run/walk it if you need to. Never run until you have to walk but find a pattern that you can stick to, throwing in walk breaks right from the start. Example: If I tell you to run 3 miles today, how can you possible do it, never having run before? Try this, run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Too easy? Run 3 minutes walk 1 minute. Just find a pattern that works for you … you have the watch to guide you. On the long day double your average weekly run distance. Do not increase total weekly mileage by more than 10%. Example: 10 total miles this week, 11 the next. These are rules to give your body time to adapt and stay injury free.

Here is a beginning schedule, start at any week that you think you can handle. Remember, run or walk to get the mile … miles done, but try to stick to it!

Commit to run or walk the time or miles on the schedule, whatever it takes to get it done, just do it! Try alternating run/walk even if you normally just walk, you may surprise yourself.

This schedule allows you to run for time or miles, which ever motivates you more. I like to log miles but I measure my miles by time. Get to know your pace on a measured route. You will learn what 9, 11, 15 or whatever minutes per mile feels like. Example: If you are running around 10 minutes per mile and run for 30 minutes, you can log 3 miles without measuring the route.

Enter a race: – Now that you have a schedule to follow, it’s time to sign up for a race. Yes, you will feel nervous and intimidated; Do it anyway. You are following a schedule and you will be ready! Also, signing on the dotted line will help you keep the commitment, heck, sign up now, it will add to your motivation and success.