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Run For It!

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Vivian Manning-Schaffel: Welcome to part deux of our series with RunnerMom Vickie Leff. In last week's installment, we told you about what gear you needed to hit the streets. Now that you've suited up, it's time to hit the road.

woman stretching before running

Leff says the first step is to set realistic and reachable goals, because "Moms have no time whatsoever, so goal-setting is critical in actually putting your shoes on." She also says that whether you are running for the first time or getting back in the game, it's important to set goals that measure time, not distance, to keep them attainable.

Don't know how far to go? Here are some guideline goals, according to fitness level:

Novice: The only running you do is after your kids or to the sale rack.
· Start out running for one minute, and then walk for five minutes, for a total of 15-20 minutes.

· Map out a route that takes you 7 1/2 minutes in one direction, and then turn around.

· Increase running intervals to 2 minutes the next week, 3 minutes the following, and so on.

Advanced: You've been relegated to the treadmill all winter and are ready to hit the open road.
· Start out running for 3-5 minutes and walk for two minutes, for a total of 30 minutes.

· Slowly increase by 10% each week until you are running for a full half hour.

No matter how far you run, Leff says the most important thing is to make it a successful venture, every single time. "If you set yourself up to go out for 15 minutes, even if you are running and walking, you've met your goal." Even though any run is a good run, she also recommends getting out for a minimum of 3 times per week to reap the fitness benefits.

Once you set a goal, Leff recommends reinforcing your accountability by writing it down and sticking it on the fridge. Her book, RunnerMom: Your Practical Guide To Women's Walking and Running, includes a training log for this very purpose.

So whatcha waiting for? Get going! And tune in next week, when RunnerMom shares her tips on how to make running fun.

next: U.K. Woman Aborts Other Mother's Last Embryo
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
melody June 14, 2009, 8:58 PM

RunnerMom is giving me hope. I can take little steps and feel successful!

Anonymous June 15, 2009, 3:22 PM

is running on the treadmill just as good as running outside?

RunnerMom June 15, 2009, 4:53 PM

Good question!!Running on a treadmill is about the same as running outside. It can be easier on your legs (especially is you are running on a sidewalk outside). You can also adjust the incline on a treadmill. Just depends on which you prefer!

RunnerMom June 15, 2009, 7:44 PM

Oops, sorry for the mistype above. Meant to say “especially IF you are running on a sidewalk outside”!

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