Now is perfect time to start training for endurance runs

Kyle Kranz

Kyle KranzRunning on the white Line

It’s that time of the year again. The weather is getting cooler, eventually the snow will be out and the runners will migrate indoors to the track and treadmill. Also in the Midwest the road races start to wind down and runner’s seasons come to an end.

Perhaps you do not classify yourself as a runner or have never done a 5K, triathlon, half marathon, or farther. If you have any aspiration to complete any type of endurance event, now is the perfect time of the year to begin a training plan to accomplish such a goal next summer.

Many people think they are just not runners, or could never accomplish any type of running event. News flash, the human body has evolved to be the perfect distance running machine. Done correctly, it can truly be amazing. Something I enjoy in life is inspiring people to go beyond what they thought was possible. Someone once said that by only risking going too far, can you find out how far you can truly go. I used to be an obese and depressed teenager who played Halo and drank Mountain Dew for fun. I was the last person you would have thought could complete a 140.6-mile triathlon last summer. Maybe you are in that same mindset right now. Well here’s the perfect opportunity. I’m showing you the door.

Beginning running or increasing distance towards a new goal must be taken in baby steps. The number one cause of running related injuries is adding mileage or something new too fast. The general rule is to not increase mileage more then 10 percent each week, however I feel that is even too aggressive for new runners. If you regularly run less then 20 miles a week I would not add more then a mile onto your weekly totals.

I have found a great way to stick with training is to get a plan that guides you through how much you should run and what types of running workouts you should do. One great resource is the guides at RunnersWorld.com, they have everything from the 5K up to the marathon. If you want to train for a triathlon, check out BeginnerTriathlete.com for some awesome support. There are many training philosophies out there as well. I am a fan of Maffetone low heart rate training; you can find many resources from him online as well as a few books. Also, if swimming is not your forte, Total Immersion is great for new athletes.

Some events we as students can aim for are the I’m Ready for Summer triathlon held here at the SDSU Wellness Center April 24, 2011. Shortly after that the Scotty Roberts 5K is May and the Brookings Marathon/Half Marathon is the next day on the May 14. All of these are great goals to shoot for with good timing in the year. AllSportCentral.com takes care of most of the registering for events in the area and has a good database of events you can search through. For more local news, check out PrairieStriders.net.

Having a goal for next summer is a great way to stay active during the cold winter months. But I’m warning you now. Side effects of starting a running routine include weight loss, the need to buy smaller clothes, more energy, a reduced chance of cardiovascular disease and possible addiction. You have so many burdens in life with schoolwork, a job, car payments, a family, the list goes on and on. However when you accomplish something you previously thought impossible, all your other worries somehow decrease in significance. It’s as if you start to think, “I accomplished this, now everything else seems a bit easier to handle.” And that, my friend, is a great gift. Hopefully I may have inspired some of you to take it.

Kyle Kranz is a senior nutrition major at SDSU. Contact him at [email protected]

#1.1668957:238652734.jpg:Columnists/KyleKranz.jpg:Kyle Kranz:File Photo