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Tips from Coach Rod – Starting a Running Program

It seems like everyone is ‘thinking about’ starting a fitness running program.   That’s good if everyone thinks about it, but how many will actually do something about it?  Maybe less than 5% of people throughout this great nation will do something about it.   Nonetheless, participation in 5 &10k’s, half-marathons & marathons are at an all time high. Wonder why? It’s about people taking their health and wellness a little more seriously than ever before.  For some it’s that waist line expanding.  And for others, concern that if their health at this stage of life is only average then what’s the next 20 years going to present to them.  OK, so where does running fit into all this?   Running has for a long time been considered the most difficult way to get into a fitness routine because it’s very tough to get motivated on your own, to step up and out to begin a running program. 

When I was growing up in New Zealand, everyone belonged to a running club, almost every town or city had one, and this club system created a ‘family’ atmosphere where people from all walks of life could come together and share in the love of walking and jogging together.  Another real benefit of this system is that there were all levels of runners’ abilities from slow through to the very fast, and from the slow walkers to Olympic race walkers. There was a pace for every ability.   And the information and coaching came with the variety of the clubs members.  Some of the members of these clubs were center (?) or provincial level runners through to national and international level. In my running club we had a 1948 Olympian 10,000m athlete who was the president of the club and a 6-time Australian cross country champion who was our club captain.  This was a wonderful benefit to the club members because these two great athletes were always available to give advice and coaching to the everyday club runner.

The point of all this is that, yes you might be thinking of starting to train for a marathon and have asked yourself where do I start?   If you live in Southern California you can join one of the two LA Roadrunner programs.  If not, my advice is to get into a running program that caters for all levels of ability, through pace groups designed and proven to be the ideal training pace for each runners goals and ability. From Walk groups, Run/Walk pace groups through to run groups, from beginner to intermediate and Advanced groups. 

Next week I’ll take you through how the LA Roadrunners program works for you and how it can take you from the Couch to the Finish line of this great LA Marathon.

Hold onto the Goal and let go of the time.

Rod Dixon

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SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2014