You are entering a new chapter of your life and we want you to unleash that inner athlete! Our motto is “New Body. New Life.” and I love working with new bariatric athletes as they discover that anything is possible. Entering your first 5k (3.1 miles) can be exhilarating and terrifying all at once. But hopefully this piece can help guide you along your new journey.
Step 1: Find a race that inspires or excites you. Many races raise money or awareness for a cause. This is how I first started, I did a friendship walk to raise money for ovarian cancer and when I saw people running I thought “I want to do that”. So the cause can be anything from cancer, to obesity, to pet shelters. Or if you are really into themes like the 80’s, Disney, zombies, or costume runs, there are fun events that encourage you to express your fun crazy self.
Step 2: Plan! If you “fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Having a plan is THE key to the puzzle. Honestly….you can do ANYTHING with the right plan. I couldn’t run for more than 10 minutes at a time, and I got on a plan and in 5 months I completed an Ironman. The other obvious key to the plan is FOLLOWING it ;). Make sure you give yourself enough time to build a base, I would suggest starting at least 12 weeks before the race. I start my bariatric athletes on a walk run plan; walk for 2 minutes and jog for 30 seconds and build from there.
Step 3: Acknowledging the process. The first steps are always the hardest, but they are also the most crucial. Always take moments to look back at where you came from. Its amazing working with someone who just competed a 1/2 marathon and say “remember when and I could barely run around the block?”.
Step 4: Finding the right shoes. Although there are some pretty cool looking shoes out there, you really need a shoe that is design for your foot and stride. Your feet are your base and affects everything up the line (knees, hips, back.). I suggesting going to a shoe store where they evaluate your foot shape and stride and can match you to a shoe that is right for you.
Step 5: Food is fuel. I love watching the transformation of seeing food as fuel. Doing 5ks and endurance events gives you an opportunity to see food differently. There is a new relationship and appreciation for food as well as your body. This fuel is literally the energy that is allowing your body to do these amazing endeavors you never thought possible.
Step 6: Get “bit by the bug”! Once you cross that finish line you will be hooked! Promise! Life is your playground so play hard and have fun!