I'm not a runner. You know, not a "runner" runner, but I have signed myself up for the 5K during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort in January. That's my goal right now, to run in the 5K. Since I'm still recovering from my accident (I was thrown from a horse back in November), I'm taking it very easy by using the run-walk method of Jeff Galloway, the official runDisney training consultant. Galloway is a former Olympic runner with over 40 years experience in running, a monthly columnist for Runner's World and an author of over twenty books.
If you've always wanted to run, but the thought of hitting the pavement has been out of the question due to the time it takes or some physical limitation, I encourage you to check out Galloway's methods on how to get yourself out there. A group of 20 runners and a few bloggers got the chance to meet Jeff and ask him a few questions last Friday morning as a kick off to Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.
His practical, almost comical, advice on how to keep yourself inspired to run will help the experienced runner get motivated and the newbie runner over the psychological hurtle of just getting started. "My job," he said, "is to get you running for the next 100 years, after that, you're on your own." Here are some quick hits from Galloway given on the floor of the Health and Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel:
* Know that at first you will walk more than run, and that's okay. You don't have to "puke" to have a good run. Just getting out there is enough for today.
* Running allows you to get your "executive mind" working. It is a quiet sport that will clear your mind to think.
* Amateur runners who apply the run-walk method in general finish 13 minutes faster than runners who run their entire race.
* On how to motivate yourself to run:
1.) Show up at any race to watch runners cross the finish line. Those with cancer, the elderly and physically challenged are out there running. No excuses. So can you
2.) Run with a friend or join a running group. (We have a group called Disneyland Runners if you are looking for a group.)
3.) Mentally rehearse. Picture yourself running, crossing the finish line, getting your medal.
4.) Lie to yourself! Tell yourself you're just going to "put on comfortable clothes" (make sure they're running clothes). Then eat something that will give you energy to run "just as a snack." Then go outside just to "check the weather." Before you know it, you'll be running through the neighborhood.
If you're liking Galloway's approach to running, you can check out runDisney's video training series at runDisney.
This series has been helpful to me as not only inspiration, but also because it answers some basic running questions, like how to set your pace and determine your "finish time" of a race. Without the assistance of these videos and the whole runDisney program, I know I would have dropped out of the January Tinker Bell Weekend 5K (called the Neverland run) a long time ago.
I met up with Galloway later that afternoon as the doors opened and the first expo guests arrived. He stood at his table ready to sign books and chat with his fans. His big smile greeted me as I approached him. I introduced myself and told him all about the stupid horse, my struggle to recover and then thanked him for his work. He listened to every word and then got very serious, looked me straight in the eye and said, "You can do this. You are going to recover and be stronger than ever before."
I'm sure he's heard worse stories than my misadventures as a cowgirl, but he took it very seriously. He was obviously passionate about his work and cares about the people he is guiding. It was inspiring and so yes, I went home and went for a run. I guess I am a runner after after all…
The Never Land Family Fun Run (5K) is still open for registration. It is a nighttime run through Disneyland that will kick off The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend (the half is sold out). Men are welcome and I personally respect any man who will run during the Tinker Bell Weekend. Register, here.
The Never Land Fun Run registration includes a ticket for the park for that day only, from 4 pm until the run, which starts at 10:30 pm. You'll also receive a t-shirt, 5K medal, Goofy bag and lots of encouragement along the way.
You can join Disneyland Runners on Facebook, our support group for runners of all skill levels, here.