A note from Kina:
I am a firm believer that you can really do whatever you put your mind to. If you're running for the first time and it feels completely foreign to you, like you're just not a runner... give it time. Remember that all runners were once non-runners. When I worked towards my first marathon, I trained alongside people who were completely new to running and watched them excitedly cross the finish line only five months later. Also remember, while it takes a strong mind to make that possible, it also takes safe and careful training.
Build your foundation.
If you don't build a solid foundation you could risk injuring yourself and jeopardizing the journey. Take small steps. If you're a total beginner, keep your workouts light--three 30 minute workouts a week is a safe starting point.
Don't burn yourself out.
When you're doing your workouts, don't kill yourself! Go at a comfortable pace--a pace at which you can comfortably hold a conversation. If that's walking, great! If it's walking five minutes and jogging one minute, great! You can slowly build it up. We want to make sure everyone trains safely. I know how easy it is to get excited about something and want to go all out, but without proper conditioning, while your minds can definitely push you to go on, your bodies may not be able to. Better to play it safe and let our bodies ease into it.
You deserve your rest!
Rest and recovery are just as important as your workouts, so don't feel guilty or lazy for taking days off! Rest days are necessary to build your muscles back stronger. We also want to make sure we are building a realistic and sustainable workout routine. If it's too extreme, it could get harder to keep it up long-term. Remember, you can always build up.
A note from Coach Abel:
Kina is absolutely right. We really want each and every one of you to do your best and reach your goals, and, when it comes to fitness, this requires not only hard work (which you've already displayed in droves!), but also an understanding of moderation and an appreciation for rest. Always listen to your body. That's rule number one. Rule number two is: Always listen to reason. Before you grab the nearest log of timber and sprint up a staircase in an attempt to emulate something you saw at the Strongest Man Competition, step outside yourself and ask: "Is this workout safe? Is this workout reasonable? Is this workout going to help me stay on target to reach my goals?" If any of those answers is a "no," or if you are unsure, pleasepleaseplease do not do that workout.
We organized RTK to be an encouraging community and a gradual introduction to an active and healthy lifestyle. We launched the program in January so you could have plenty of time to safely and comfortably ease yourself into your own fitness program, and hopefully achieve some fitness milestone in June (when Kina will be running her own half-marathon). These first few weeks should be approached as a conditioning period; our workouts approached as assessments of our current fitness levels. Check with your physicians, pay extra close attention to any aches or pains, and talk about your goals with friends and family. When you do workout, strive for activities that leave you feeling rejuvenated, happy, and relaxed; avoid activities that leave you drained, pained, or strained. When I'm preparing for a sub-three-hour marathon, I use the same routine to kick off my own training. Keep in mind that fitness is a cycle, and your body needs ample to time recovery and rebuild after workouts. Schedule out regular rest days at least twice a week. Stick to them and enjoy them, because you've earned them!