Here it is, more than halfway through November, and it’s time to start thinking about Turkey Trots and Thanksgiving and eating lots of good food.
I’m going to take a page from one of my mentors, Dr. Robert Gilbert, a psychologist from Montclair State University. He recommends using this time of the season to start your New Year’s resolution 35 days early.
We have Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday. Why not use that holiday to say, “Hey, I’m going to run that Turkey Trot. I’m going to give it my best shot and finish that 5K before I start eating all the goodies later in the afternoon. I’m going to just do it!”
Racing runs in the family: Dr. Conenello (flanked by his sons Kyle, 14, and Luke, 16, after a race this past summer), an active runner, practices what he preaches.
Before you trot out the door on Thanksgiving morning, be smart. Make sure you are wearing a good pair of sneakers that give you the cushioned support you need. Hand in hand (or foot in foot) with the proper running shoes are good moisture-wicking socks that fit you well and provide additional cushion. And then get out there and enjoy the activity. Don’t try to kill it. Take it nice and easy and have fun.
The day after Thanksgiving, get out there again. We always say it’s the start that stops us. That does not have to happen. If you have a goal to lose weight or to become more physically fit or simply to try to be more active, this is your opportunity.
Try to build. Tell yourself, “I’m going to do this every other day,” or “I’m going to run five times a week,” or “I’m going to try to maintain 30 minutes of light jogging a week.” Whatever it is, make the Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving the start of your program.
And if you are able to follow through, you will have a 35-day head start on all those other people with their New Year’s resolution. By the time January 1 comes along, you will have momentum that you won’t want to stop.
Keep in mind a couple of concepts:
- Be good to your feet.
- Be good to your body.
Pre- and Post-Race
Before and after your Turkey Trot, use some static stretches, some wall stretches, some calf stretches. Purchase a foam roller and use it on the backs of your legs, your hamstrings, calf muscles, and Achilles tendons. Get a lacrosse ball and roll it with your foot to prevent or ease plantar fasciitis.
All these things are important as you begin your personal running plan. This is a great time to motivate yourself to do more. The winter doldrums are right around the corner. You do not want to get into a habit of doing nothing. Use this week, and the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, as a head start to incorporate a running program into a healthier lifestyle.