While the cold festive blanket settles and incubates lethargy for many a non runner, for some of us the passing of the Winter Solstice will mark two ancient and iconic lunar running phases..
1. Ye Olde London Marathon ballot place cometh good
2. The bell doth toll for New Years running resolutions
And therefore what could be a dark, drab and wholly depressing time of year, is instead rejuvenated into multi coloured kaleidoscope of running possibilities, with festive presents demonstrating Lycra love and aerobic excitement levels reaching a new crescendo.
January - a time to weigh up the correct footwear and nutrition balance
At LGN we rejoice in this time of year, hope and running have always been quite an intoxicating and heady mix and the recent LGN running seminars have proved no exception, as it is a treat to work with people clearly intent on embarking on a fresh running and fund raising challenge.
However, our biggest challenge at LGN is helping people hold onto their NY resolution fuelled and most precious running commodity – desire.
As is our human nature, the more we want something, the more we end up justifying our hasty actions with such passion fuelled logic as ‘no pain no gain’. It is all too easy running out the door with new swanky Christmas kit and leave common sense as the only gift unwrapped, (we at LGN can say this because we have made this mistake, oh yes).
We all therefore need to be reminded of how beautifully powerful running is as a form of exercise, and as such enables us get an über endorphin hit in a short time saving window, however, because it is so powerful we need to respect it and very gently nurture it.
The temptation to do too much too soon is very easily done in early January, especially if heading for London Marathon. Worst case scenarios range from physical injury often vocalised via ‘ouch!’ to mental fatigue aka – ‘I don’t want to play any more’
Run the LGN way and stay young forever..
Therefore we need to ensure our training is structured, provides gentle physical progression and that majority of running is done with a glint in the eye moistened by a desire fuelled tear.
Please find below LGN’s Top 5 Winter Solstice running tools for success:
LGN's 'Three C Philosophy':
Please re-read LGN’s Three C running philosophy (Consistency, Control & Confidence) or download from bottom of this article.
You are unique, so must be your running:
Remember running should be your Christmas gift for life and thus needs to be sustainable. LGN strongly suggest not trying to push life (work, family, social, illicit fun etc) aside, as it will eventually flood back, instead use initial weeks to find running rhythm and ensure training schedule fits with your unique life.
Flirt with your schedule:
Prior to marathon or new schedule commitment, do not rush headlong into running relationship, instead we need to tease mind & body, frustrate yourself with short provocative efforts, make sure when you get home and the key goes in the front door that you still want more.
Listen to your body:
Turn off iPod, GPS et al and listen to your body, it is the best possibly metronome, with foot stride, heart beat and breathing it is the best way to understand how to vary pace and set tempo for running success. This knowledge and physical affinity you develop early will prove vital a later running stage.
Less is more:
The desire to build up the mileage and do it early can be overwhelming. Primary physical goal, especially for new runners in initial weeks is for vital connective tissue (ligaments & tendons) to adapt to new stress, push too hard too early and long term problems can arise, in early weeks keep it short and you will keep your running sweet.
And don't forget to download our LGN 'Three C philosophy' PDF from bottom of this page!
Happy running in 2011 from all the team at LGN.