Tips to Keep You Running!

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Welcome to the final week of the Inspiration to Fitness Track to 5k!

Our weekly plans stop here but your fun has just begun. Your 5k run is this weekend, but more importantly you're a stronger version of yourself. Running can teach skills like commitment, goal setting, endurance and confidence that you can carry to all aspects of your life.

Here are tips to keep running fun for this weekend's 5k and beyond:

- Check in with your goals. We wrote goals at the beginning of the program. Are you achieving your fitness goals? Be proud of crossing goals off your list-- don't forget to add new ones!

- Sign up for races. Shoot big. Sign up for a half marathon or an adventure race like Muddy Buddy, Urbanathlon or Warrior Dash.

- Try new routes. Can you run home from work or to a friend's house? Is there a neighborhood you've always loved but never driven through? Running to a destination or to explore can make you forget you're even working out.

- Add a new fitness tool or running outfit to your collection every so often. Something new can add fun excitement to regular training!

- Keep the music coming. Update your running playlist and consider listening to a book on tape. Leave the iPod at home every once in a while to listen to nothing but your breathing, your footsteps and the scenery around you.

- Try trail or beach running. Mix it up and add a new challenge by running through the woods or on a sandy beach. You'll challenge new muscles and give your body a break from the pavement.

- Schedule your runs in to make sure they happen. If you run whenever you feel like it, that day may never come. Whether you run five days a week or two, schedule them in your planner and you will be more likely to lace up those running shoes.

- Play with your workouts. Add in some fartleks or try to pass the runners in front of you on the trail.

- Remember why you started in the first place. Keep a list of mantras handy when motivation is low.

keep it fun.jpg

Run

Last week we ran for 2.75 miles or 30 minutes. To prepare for our 5k race (or 3.1 mile run) this weekend, we will run for 3 miles or 35 minutes, plus a five minute warm up and cool down.

Your last run is your 3.1 mile run. Run for 5km, 3.1 miles or about 35 minutes. By this run you've worked up a good foundation and should feel strong during the run. Push yourself during this run so you feel challenged, but not in pain. Test your training and give it all you got! Don't skip your warm up or cool down; a light jog would be beneficial for your warm up.

Strength

It's the final week of workouts so we're adding a fun, different one in. You can do this workout on both strength days or mix in one from a past week.

Strength workout 9 : one round of seven reps, completed quickly

Burpees- Begin in a standing position. Moving quickly, squat and set your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump or step back to a push-up position and roll your body down to the floor starting from your knees until your chest hits the floor. Push back up to a push-up position and step or jump your feet to meet your hands. Leap back to standing while simultaneously jumping in the air as high as possible and clap above your head. Repeat the exercise quickly to elevate your heart rate.

Air squats- Stand with feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Keep your heels down, chest high, weight in heels and maintain a slight lumbar curve in your back. Bend knees until your thighs are just below parallel to the ground. Don't let your knees fall inward or go past your toes. Straighten your legs to return to starting position.

Push-ups- Place your toes and hands on the floor, making sure your back and arms are straight. Keep your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart and tighten your abdominal muscles. Slowly lower yourself so you brush your body against the floor. Don't lock your elbows, and don't bend your back. Push yourself away from the floor to return to starting position. If necessary, modify with knees on the floor and aligned with hips and feet off the floor.

Walking lunges- Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and hands on hips. Step forward with your leading leg and lower your body by bending the knee and hip of the leading leg to 90 degrees and the knee of the trailing leg is almost in contact with floor. Without bringing your feet together, bring your back leg forward and through to complete the same movement.

Mountain climbers- Come into a military push-up position balancing on the floor on your toes and palms with your butt in line with your heels and shoulders. Bring one knee high into your chest and return to original position. Repeat on opposite leg. Increase the speed of the movement as permissible.

Superman- Lie facedown on the floor, legs together and straight, arms straight and extended above your head. Keep your head/neck in a neutral position. Keeping your arms and legs straight, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form a gentle curve with your body. Hold the position. Remember to breathe!

Bicycle Crunches- Begin by lying on your back, placing your hands lightly behind your head. Bend your knees to a 90 degree angle with thighs parallel to floor. Move your legs in a bicycle motion. Match knee to opposite elbow and switch.

How do you keep running fun? Good luck with your 5k run!

"Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hardwork, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe." -Gail Devers

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