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It’s Springtime! Some of you may feel inspired to start a regular walking or running program since summer is right around the corner, but aren’t sure how to get started. Some of you may be gearing up to move your workouts outdoors, but haven’t walked or run outside in a long time. And some of you may have set a distance goal that you want to achieve this season, but don’t like following a rigid plan. Whichever group you fall into, I’m going to share an easy, yet effective method to increase your endurance and help you achieve your goals in a low pressure, enjoyable way.  

Step 1: Commit to a Routine

Decide which days of the week you’re going to train. Choose at least 3 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session.

Step 2: Schedule It

Physically put your workout time into your calendar. If it’s on the calendar, you’re more likely to protect that time and follow through.

Step 3: Warm Up (5-8 minutes)

Start with a gentle walk. Give your muscles time to loosen up. Increase your pace slowly. Listen to your Breath (20 minutes of work). Once your muscles feel good and warmed up, increase your intensity with a faster-paced walk or jog. Once you hear your breath, decrease your intensity until you catch your breath. This could be mean increasing and decreasing your walking speed, alternating jogging with walking, or alternating running with jogging. At the onset of your program, your challenge interval will likely be short (10-30 seconds) and your recovery interval will be somewhat long (1-2 minutes). But stick to your routine. You’ll experience improvements in your endurance and close that gap in no time.

Step 4: Set yourself up for Success

The better you feel at the end of your workout, the more likely it is that you’ll want to do it again. Wear comfortable clothes. Choose appropriate shoes. Stay hydrated. Turn on some tunes. And listen to your body. If you need to stop, stop. If you need to take a stretch break, do it. If you feel amazing and want to kick it up a notch, go for it. 

Step 5: Cool down /Stretch (5-8 minutes)

Honor the work you just did by giving your body a few minutes recover. Your heart will thank you if you allow your heart rate to comfortably return to a resting state. Your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments will thank you if you take a few minutes to stretch.

Step 6: Finish on a High Note

When you’re all finished, give yourself a little love and some positive reinforcement. “I rocked it! Sweet!”

Have you gotten outside yet? Do you have any inspirational words for any readers who haven’t yet tied their shoes? Please leave comments below.

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