Another year, another opportunity
Written by: Christopher Musco

It’s that time of year again! The days are longer, the skies are clear and the sun is out. As New England CrossFitters, it’s important for us to cherish this time as we only have a couple of months before the gloom of the snow returns. As the bay doors of the gym begin to open, the dread of running sets in. If the word ‘running’ gives you chills, here are five tips that may help you conquer running.

1. Approach with confidence
It’s normal to feel nervous when taking on a new challenge. Changing your state of mind is imperative as your nervous energy can easily be converted into nervous excitement. It’s important to identify what is limiting you. Do you believe that you cannot run well? Is that belief limiting you from accomplishing your running goals? What if you were to believe that you could finish that 400 meter run? Positivity breeds positivity!

Remember to breathe! It’s just like any other workout. If you don’t breathe, you will get that out of control feeling! Do your feet or knees always hurt after running? Consider taking extra time to mobilize both before and after running. Use a lacrosse ball on the bottom of your feet. This can work miracles. No pain, no gain. Give ROMWOD a shot. Set yourself up for success and think positively. Get your mind right, then keep it that way!

2. Set goals
It’s important to identify where you are starting in your journey. If you don’t know where you are now, how do you get to where you want to be? Be honest with yourself but don’t be too hard on yourself as everyone has to start from somewhere. This is crucial to setting realistic and obtainable goals. Always set goals that are measureable, specific and attainable. Write down all of your goals and then prioritize them. Which are the most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to accomplish the most? Put this list where you will see it every day!

3. Consider scaling
If running just isn’t your jam consider scaling the run or the rest of the components of the WOD. Ask your coach to help you scale the WOD based on the intensity or volume of the run. Identify where in the WOD that you want to challenge yourself. If you are looking to challenge your running skills, scale the distance to something you can concur. If it’s a volume run day consider scaling the other WOD components. Scaling helps you accomplish small goals which will help you gain the strength and confidence to achieve your big running goals.

4. Don’t cherry pick
If you avoid every running workout, you are doing your fitness and yourself a disservice. What are you training for? Is it to lead a fitter and healthier life? If zombies took over the earth, would it be more practical to have a 300lb snatch or be a good runner? The best way to get better at something is to DO it. You didn’t get that impressive snatch by watching YouTube! Unfortunately, humans haven’t evolved to that point yet! To get that snatch, you practiced and you put in the time. Don’t limit your time to practice by cherry picking!

5. Hold yourself accountable
Remember that list of goals, time to use it! After setting goals for yourself, it’s important to hold yourself accountable. Running is like any other barbell movement or skill in the gym. If you are looking to master it, you need to push yourself. Pick a pace and stick to it! Using a watch during a running WOD can help keep you accountable to a specific lap time. Share those goals with your coach, family, and friends. Focus on the people in your life that aren’t afraid to help hold you accountable to your goals. The great thing about running is you don’t need a gym to do it. Meet your friends at the local track and put some miles on those new running shoes. Hard work pays off. Do the work and see what happens I dare you.

Are you ready?