Each month we offer a new article by Kitty Consolo, Ph.D. Kitty is a veteran runner and exercise physiologist. She has been running and racing since 1975, and has won over 400 road races ranging from the mile to the marathon and went to the first women's Olympic marathon trails in 1984. Kitty has a PR of 2:42.46 for the marathon and 35:02 for the 10km, She now enjoys shorter races and masters running.
Enjoy, and please let us know your thoughts about the Runner's Corner!
for a short 'thank you' from a long time admirer of Kitty!
Applying the 7 Habits to meeting
2004 New Years Goals
Welcome to 2004. I was looking at
my list of New Year's resolutions for 2003 and decided that I do not
have trouble making the resolutions, it's keeping them! For this
Christmas I got Stephen Covey's Living the Seven Habits and
it dawned on me as I was inspired with real life people really
living and applying the 7 Habits that maybe this would be a great
process to apply to my running and other New Year's goals. For
those of you not familiar with the 7 Habits, here they are and how
they may help you be the runner you've been wanting to be.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Now if you have been looking back on
2003 and finding excuses and others to blame as to why you did not
run as you wanted to last year, here's a chance to take
responsibility for your own running and training. It means no
excuses and making running your choice because you value it and what
it can do for you rather than because of some mood or
circumstance. Covey suggests one use the inside-out approach and
take responsibility through self awareness, conscience, imagination
and independent will.
As you plot out your goals for running,
be honest with yourself and based on your current training and
fitness, begin with realistic goals that will fit into your life
schedule as it is now. Continue to log and monitor your progress
and if you are not succeeding, exercise self responsibility to right
the situation rather than be a victim or reactive or blame others.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in
Here's where "the body achieves what the
mind believes." Go to a place where you can be undisturbed and
relaxed. Allow yourself to visualize yourself as the runner you
always wanted to be within your realistic limitations. See yourself
becoming that runner this year--what will you look like, what will
you feel like, what goals will you accomplish? Will you work on
fitness, speed, endurance or consistency? Covey even suggests you
write our a mission statement and have a clear mental vision.
Enlist the help of your family and training partners too.
Habit 3: Put First things First
Now here is where applying the
principles to your running could get you into trouble if you decide
to put it before your responsibilities to your career or family--I
suggest you consider a balanced approach where you put running up
there with career and family and other things that matter. Keep
these main things the main things and when the weather is ugly or
you do not feel like training, continue to put it first.
I run as soon as I get up so that I can
devote the rest of the day to my other priorities and have found I
rarely get sidetracked plus the run wakes me up and refreshes me for
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Now this habit does not mean winning by
coming in first. It means that you are seeking mutual benefit and
respect of other important parties in your life. It is thinking in
terms of we. Here is where you can enlist your family and find ways
to incorporate your running in a way that it is perceived as a
benefit to your family not just to you. This can be a bit
challenging if your family does not run but it can also be a chance
to have them appreciate your running and for you to appreciate areas
in their lives.
Habit 5 is Seek first to
understand, then be understood
This habit can be especially helpful if
you seem to be getting a lot of resistance with your family or loved
ones about your training. Before you start lecturing them on your
side and defending your running, listen. Listen without
interrupting and really seek to understand rather than thinking
about what you are going to say next to respond to what they are
saying. If your family can feel you really want to understand them
then often they will work to understand you and better relationships
can be fostered.
Habit 6: Synergize
This habit is about a third alterative
that is difficult but extremely rewarding to reach and it refers to
"not my way, not your way, but a third way that is better than
either of us would come up with individually." This habit can have
very surprising and rewarding outcomes and thrives on each persons
strengths rather than weaknesses or making the other feel
defensive. This would be a great goal to have for the year as you
continue to visualize and train towards your goal.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
This habit actually is perfect for your
running program as it is about renewing ourselves in these four
areas, "physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual." If done
with balance running can contribute to all of these areas though I
would not exclude other avenues of reaching these areas as well.
Here is where you can establish family traditions such as a family
run at a special place or special vacation somewhere followed by a
great run. It also reminds you that running if just physical, can
lose its balance and end up detracting from ones social/emotional
areas, mental and spiritual.
If you interweave these 7 Habits with
the following training guidelines, I predict 2004 can be one of your
most enjoyable running years yet to be!
The 10% rule
1. Only increase your mileage 10% per
week even if you feel like you can do more.
2. Only increase your long run 10% each
week or each time you do it even if you feel you can do more.
3. Take your resting heart rate daily
at the same time of day. A 10% increase is your early warning sign
to rest the next day or cut back on your workout.
4. When adding speed work, start with
just 10% of your total time or miles and increase in 10% increments
weekly. The longer the event you are training for, the less speed
needed. Marathoners need only about 10% a week whereas 5km runners
need more like 30%.
Follow these guidelines and you are apt
to run injury and illness free this year. After all, it is a
consistent program that keeps you healthy that will bring you the
success you desire.
May 2004 bring you good health, great
happiness and many blessings!