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It's not too early to begin training for summer, fall events

Are you considering Grandma's Marathon, running a 5k, or paddling in the Dragon Boat Festival this year? Now is the time to begin your training. I know it may seem early for a summer event, but beginning now benefits you in the long run.

Many I see suffer from unrealistic time expectations for weight loss, strength gains and event conditioning. They inquire about fitness change just weeks before an event, setting them up for failure.

The other issue for time-constrained training is injury. When we push the body too hard too fast we end up injured, laid up during an event or pushing through, while hoping we don't do more damage. A little bit of planning can help make your next fitness challenge much more enjoyable and even help you beat your expectations this year.

Think about what it is you want to do. Are you planning to run the Burrito Union Triathlon at Pattison Park in September? If so, look for other events which complement the activities and participate as a way to practice for the "big event." Racing in smaller events helps break up the year, focus your training, and get your head in the game for the big race.

If you are hoping to walk more during deer hunting this year think about what the terrain will be like and begin walking now. You can add overload with a weighted vest throughout the seasons according to how much you'll be packing on with clothing and gear. Developing a comparable workout during the year makes chasing the bucks a lot easier come November.

Break your goal down. If your goal is to run Grandma's Marathon begin a workout which incorporates walking and running in an alternating pattern. This allows you to run at your current level while building your endurance, strength, and mental components slowly. Over time you'll run longer and more efficiently, making race day more enjoyable.

Your diet also plays an important role in the body's ability to perform. It's not only what you eat the day before and on race day. It's what you eat regularly that will help your body perform at top speed on the day of your event.

When we begin training many of us go full steam toward our end result right out of the starting gate. This sets us up for injury or, at the very least, a very tired person. Once we are so tired, hungry, or hurt we give up. This is counter-productive!

So this year begin training for your big event now. Plan out the type, time, and training. Create a program which builds from where you are now physically and where you want to be in two, six and eight months. Find ways to stay motivated and keep your food intake in check according to your goals. If this all seems overwhelming, hire a professional. Personal trainers do this for a living, so utilize their knowledge to get the most out this year.

Anyway you look at it, you are in charge of you. You are in charge of making sure you are prepared for the challenge you have set for yourself and there is no reason you can't make it happen!

Stacy Reuille-Dupont, is currently the owner of Superior Balance Fitness Center and SuperiorWorkout.com. She welcomes your comments and may be reached at www.superiorbalance.com or stacy@superiorworkout.com.

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