I love getting in better shape. It is true that working out is very addictive and I am truly hooked. My strength training workout was quite fun yesterday. I'm using heavier and heavier weights and able to do more and more all the time. I can see and feel the results too. I have been really working on my core lately by doing a series of crunches. I'm up to 500 crunches on each strength training day. It may seem like a lot to do but it has really helped my running. For a while my long runs always left me with back pain when I was done, but not anymore. Now, thanks to the core exercises, the post run back pain has all but disappeared.
I'm in the home stretch now, only 19 days until the gun goes off at my first half marathon race in San Jose. I am really looking forward to that run and finishing it will be a tremendous accomplishment. To all those out there getting in shape and/or running, I want to offer some advice for your success: Listen to all advice that others give you, but only follow the advice that works for you. I have been given a lot of advice about running. When I started, I was told I was running too often, someone told me I need to run farther, someone else told me I need to run 10 times a week (ouch!), even someone else told me I need to run in intervals (like run for 9 minutes, walk 1, repeating the pattern throughout a race), and even someone else told me I need to switch my morning runs to evening runs. That is just a mere fraction of the advice I have received about running.
In addition to the advice directly given to me, there is a plethora of training sites and training advice available, all with a different plan. When you are getting in shape, it is very important to follow your own path. Everyone is different and has different needs when getting in shape and training. Of all the advice I have received, I have only followed a small fraction of it. However, I have considered all advice with an open mind because you never know when you will find something that would work for you. For example, when I was running 4 times a week I was told that I need to cut that down to three times a week. I tried that and my body agreed that was the right thing to do. However, I thought about the interval running that someone told me to do and decided against it. This person said I would actually be finishing runs faster with intervals, but I knew that my races are less about the time on the clock and more about the accomplishment of crossing that finish line having run the entire distance, so I passed on that suggestion.
So, my advice for the day is consider all advice, but feel free to heed none of it. If advice someone gives you does not comport to your goals or is too demanding for you or your schedule, feel free to pass on it. Follow your own path and you will get there.