Are you like me? Does the mention of a “race” conjure up images of sleek and fit figures dashing along at lightening speeds in their skin-tight black outfits? For over 30 years, I’ve treated elite runners, and that IS how most of them appear. Since I’ve never felt worthy, I never imagined that running or racing was in my future; I have an old ACL injury, and an old body to go with it! When my teenage son asked to try the Buzz and Woody’s Best Friends 5K this past January, I said yes for two reasons only: 1. What mom worth her salt would turn down spending time with their teenager? 2. It’s Disney. And that’s exactly what the geniuses at Disney already knew. They take “fun run” to another galaxy, and beyond! (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.) Not sold yet? Let me share with you the highlights:
Where do you begin? Of course, you would check with your physician if you have a medical condition or want clearance. Beyond that, let me offer you my Top PT Tips for beginners:
- Shoes One of the reasons that running is so popular, is that there is very little start-up cost. However, even if you want to dabble in running or walking, I suggest you invest in a new pair of running shoes, and do so at a running shoe store. Let them know you are a “dabbler” and they will offer you a shoe that supports your body alignment. (You know the adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Well, that applies big-time here.) At the very worst, they can become your new park vacation shoes! Read more at PT Tips For Selecting Your Next Running Shoe.
2. Take that first step. It is the hardest, but it’s been proven that healthy habits breed
other healthy habits!
3. Support You will be more successful if you have a partner, girlfriend, family
member or local running club to offer incentive. It will help you get out of bed on
that first cold or rainy training day.
4. Program runDisney hired former Olympian and running guru Jeff Galloway as
their Official Training Consultant. As a master runner, he offers much to the elite
athlete but, in my mind, his beginner program is pure genius. The “Run-Walk-
Run” allows for flexible training, while warding off the injuries that over-eager
beginners are especially prone to. His training system is available to all at
the runDisney site. If you need more of Jeff’s expertise, his training
videos (complete with phone apps) can be found at the
5. Stretching Just a decade ago, it was considered best practice to instruct
runners to perform a full stretching “routine” prior to exercise. Unfortunately,
research revealed that more athletes were injuring themselves by
overstretching, and not by the actual run. Studies show that even 3 minutes of
relaxed walking can deliver the same increase in blood flow to the muscles,
increasing their pliability without the risk of overdoing it.
6. Slow and steady really does win the race (or in this case, training). Listen to
your body, rest when you need to, adjust your tempo, but keep moving. As a
beginner, don’t worry about perfection!
With each runDisney race weekend, the field is composed of over 50% newcomers. You will be IN THE MAJORITY!!
It can be that easy to start to become a runDisney fan. If you are still not convinced, try a stroll on one of Walt Disney World’s many trails. (A full mapping of each of its jogging paths can be found HERE!) After all, runDisney’s slogan is “every mile is magic.” And so it was…