“And ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”
Our bodies are the instruments through which all of life and passions are experienced. The disintegration of our health is the narrowing of opportunities to live a full and richer life. If you are just starting your journey to fitness, looking to challenge yourself more, or wondering if the neglect of this topic is beginning to impact your children too, someone in the Rogue Valley has offered strategies to tackle this subject!
(Shannon, on the right, with her daughter.)
Keeping it in the family
Shannon Clay-Gillette, an Ashland resident, spent her childhood skiing on the weekends with her family, and then packing her own children up and down the a mountain where she worked as a ski instructor for 25 years. She studied exercise science at the University of Utah, and just browsing her facebook page you will see pics of her biking, swimming, and running! Last summer she watched her daughter place 4th in the Olympic Trials for a spot on the US Track and Field team, serving as the alternate for Rio, and represented the US in the 2012 London Olympics. To root good health into your family tree Shannon suggests:
- Lead by example. There is a direct correlation to how we live and how they see us!
- Expose them to new activities and opportunities to try it out.
- Eliminate pressure, and keep it fun!
- Once they are involved be committed to get them there on time.
- If you are the first generation to start teaching this to your children, think of how your parents transferred their passions and values onto you and apply the same methods to this new habit!
Starting your first race
Here are some guidelines to take action on your journey to a healthier you!
1.Give yourself adequate time to train. Your body needs time to adjust to the demands, so allow
- 5-8 weeks for a 5K
- 6-10 weeks for a 10K
- 10-12 weeks for a half marathon
- 20 to 24 weeks for a marathon
2.Consistency is key. Pick a training plan that fits your lifestyle. Goals you can achieve on good and bad days!
3.Find a training partner or enlist family and friends to keep you accountable. This will be your secret weapon. Don’t try to go this alone if you are a beginner. Announce to your family your goals, ask old friends to join you or start striking up conversations at the gym and make some new friends.
4.Keep a training journal. Document what you did and how it felt. This can get you out of a slump or more effectively prepare for the next week ahead. Sometimes we overestimate or underestimate what we have accomplished.
5.Let go of expectations and focus on being present.
6.Push yourself at the pace that you cross the finish line with a smile and a desire to do it again. Injuring yourself by pushing too hard will derail your efforts to make fitness a lifelong habit. Think big and start small!
Up your game for the next race
If you already have put a race or two under your belt here are some bonus tips to bring it up a notch.
- Incorporate speed work. Run on a track or flat surface.
- Strength running. This means hills! Oh, Boy!
- Plan one day a week to run long and slow.
- Strength training. Body weight exercises and core strengthening (planks and side-planks are a good start).
- Test your speed on a track once every 4 weeks.
Some great resources Shannon recommended
Good Luck rooting good health into your family tree!