I am participating in the upcoming Alliance for Lupus Research’s Walk with Us to Cure Lupus. I am really excited! I am also a little nervous. Am I ready to walk 5k (3.1 miles)? Is my body ready for it? Well, we lupies never know what each day will bring us as far as our illness goes, but we can prepare ourselves as best we can and hope that our bodies will cooperate on the day of the walk.
I have a team for the walk, and someone suggested we get t-shirts. So we are going all out! I am so grateful for the support I have received from my family and friends. I want to be able to do this walk for them, for me. I need to be in shape so that I successfully complete the walk and not end up a heap of heaving hurt.
Here are a few tips that have helped me to jump start my training regimen for that 5k walk. I hope they can help you.
- Start a Daily Routine that Works around your Workout
- You will want to start getting into a routine to prepare you for your walk. Will you need to be up earlier than usual for the walk? Start going to bed earlier so that you can wake up earlier. Also be sure to schedule your workout time on your calendar. If you are like me, if it doesn’t get written in the calendar, it doesn’t happen. Also do you best to work everything else around your exercise time. Above all else, be kind and loving to yourself. If lupus acts up and keeps you away from your morning walk, give yourself the rest you need. If you are feeling up to it, maybe you can walk in the evening. Do what is best for your body.
- Schedule Rest and Recover Time
- I walk 5 days and am off 2 days of the week. Give your muscles some time to rest and recuperate from your new walking schedule. Would you benefit from a daily foot soak or a muscle balm rub? Listen to your body and enjoy your hard earned off days.
- Stay Hydrated
- Your body will respond so much better to the exertion needed for the walk if you start hydrating it now. Seriously. How many times have we heard that we don’t drink enough water? You will want to get your cells accustomed to the refreshing and rejuvenating H2O that they will bathing in from now and up until the walk. It will also be good for you to start getting used to how much water your system can take before you need to use the facilities. This will help you plan for the day of the walk as well. (Going to refill my water bottle now.)
- Incorporate Real Food into Your Diet
- Your body needs good fuel to work well. And good fuel translates to real food. So when I say “fill up”, I don’t mean stuff yourself. I just mean to eat the good stuff (in moderation). Try as much as possible to avoid processed food (i.e. junk food, fast food, packaged food) while you train. Eat organic fruits, veggies, and proteins when possible. Start incorporating real food snacks into your daily diet.
- Enlist a Training Buddy (real or virtual)
- Partner up with someone who can either go walking with you or commit to being your virtual walking partner. A real training buddy can be a friend, a relative, or even a furry pooch. A virtual partner is one who commits to training as much as you, and the two of you will report to one another (phone call, email, or text) when workouts are completed. With a partner, you will be more likely to follow through with your workouts, and you will feel supported.
- Prepare your Workout clothes the Night Before
- Save time and energy by setting out your walking clothes the night before. Check the weather for the next day. Will you need warmth in layers? Will you need a hat to keep the sun off your skin? This also a good time to evaluate the condition of your walking shoes. Do you need a new pair?
- Work your Way up to Distance Goal
- Either use a pedometer or measure the distance (3.1 miles) with your car. You are basically determining what your walking route will be in advance. You can either do a circular route or a half-way route, measure 1.55 miles out and then turn around and walk the same 1.55 miles back to your starting point. Gradually increase the distance so that you are eventually walking the full 3.1 miles.
- Keep a Journal
- This connects to the tip above. You will want to keep a journal of how much distance you have covered on each walk so that you will know how much you need to increase it on the next walk. In addition, you will want to document how you feel after each walk. Are you feeling okay after having walked 2 miles? Do you need to slow your pace? Or are you feeling pretty good?
- Get Proper Rest
- Rest is crucial for lupies. It becomes even more important if we are asking our bodies to exert more energy than usual. Be sure to get the amount of rest your body needs. And perhaps your system would benefit from naps during the day as well with your new walking routine.
- Share your new Training Routine with your Walk Supporters
- We are more likely to follow through with our goals if we write them down and share them with others. So do this. Send an email out to your Walk supporters (family, friends, teammates, and donors), and let them know you have started training for your Walk. This will not only keep your supporters updated on how you are doing, but you will also have a group to whom you are accountable. The email can also help get everyone excited about the walk. Yay!
Have you been wanting to sign up for a 5k, or some other physical activity? Do you have something like this coming up on your calendar? What tips do you have? We’d love to hear your stories!