The number one New Year’s resolution: "get fit and healthy through exercise".
Here is something you have probably seen (or experienced before). Laura and Henrik decide that this year, they start the habit of running twice or three times a week. They begin with much vigor because they want to make sure no one makes that dreadful gained-a-few-pounds-I-see comment.
Laura feels a bit insecure because running has never been a happy experience for her. Henrik used to be quite the athlete in high school but has not worked his cardio-vascular system in the last years. They realize that something must change in order to live a healthy happy life. Both don their worn-out trainers and old sweatshirts and set out for their first run.
Start out at your pace
Laura doesn’t feel comfortable not-so flashy gear and notices the next-door neighbor's gaze as she passes by, walking her dog. “Did she just roll her eyes?”, Laura thinks to herself. Henrik is a little further up the road. He went out way too fast and can’t make it to the end of the block before questioning if he is about to end up in a hospital bed. He made the classic mistake of going out too fast, too soon.
They muddle through and somehow make it through their first run but neither of them has had a particularly pleasant experience. In fact, both feel quite bad after this run. Laura and Henrik can’t feel the benefits of the adaptations to the body yet and especially Henrik worked way too hard and feels sick.
Too far too soon
The first experience has not been good for our protagonists. With sheer willpower and the desire to lose the holiday add-ons, the couple goes out for another run the next day but they are both less enthusiastic than the first time around.
A few more stares from the neighborhood, a few more negative thoughts about hospital beds, and no noticeable improvement on the weight scale are enough to drain the couple’s best intentions to get fitter through running.
It is just not worth it. The struggle is too big. They don’t see the benefits and feel that their bodies were just not made for running. For them, running sucks! Before long there is no more talk of running in the household and the running gear moves to the back of the cupboard. Laura and Henrik tried but they simply can’t muster the willpower to go for another run.
Laura and Henrik's willpower is not what is lacking. Their knowledge of how to build from scratch is. The biggest reason New Year's running resolutions fail is that (re)emerging runners go out Too fast, Too far, too soon. Start where you should start. Leave any expectations at the door and consider lacing up your trainers as a first victory. Getting started with a new running habit requires a little patience to allow the body to adapt to the load of running. Be kind to yourself and start slower and with a shorter distance than you would think. This way, you ease yourself into the habit and avoid those Terrible Too's!
Whether you are an emerging runner, an aspiring marathon runner or shooting for a personal best as an experienced marathoner, the Effortless Running training plans are customized to the athletes' individual needs. If you want to make sure your running adventure becomes a success, start with the right guidance. Find out which package or plan fits you best with our survey at www.effortlessrunning.com/training-plans.
Erik Böhm - Effortless Running - December 2021