Paul Carrozza's Fitness Tips Heather McKissick Visits With Paul by Paul Carrozza

Recently, Heather McKissick of Leadership Austin came to see me about training for the Capital 10K. We spent some time one afternoon walking and talking about getting into shape and what to expect while training. Heather is going to be blogging here on GoodHealth.com about her experiences with various types of exercise in the next few months, as she gets in shape for the Cap10K.

Learning from the Masters: Training for the 10K with Paul Carrozza

As I start training for the Capital 10K I decided to reach out to RunTex founder, endurance fitness guru and community leader Paul Carrozza, and asked him to give me some pointers. What a gift it was to spend more than an hour with Paul hearing his personal exercise philosophy and receiving his expert guidance on my training journey ahead. Here's how it went:

Paul's message during the session was simple: if you want to keep your modern lifestyle, there's really only one solution to staying healthy and still having the comforts you want in life: become an athlete. A scary proposition ... the words "me" and "athlete" have never before been seen or heard together. But he's got a point, and Paul should know.

Paul's philosophy is that when you train for an event like an organized walk or run, you give yourself a signficant advantage in many ways. By committing in advance, you declare a tangible goal. By training individually, you challenge yourself and understand your own limits and how to exceed them. And when working out with a group, you have a different level of accountability and community that creates lasting results.

First, I had to make sure I had the right gear. My primary criteria for "tennis" shoes has always been the-cheaper-the-better. But the folks at RunTex fixed me right up with a great pair of running shoes. After my two knee surgeries I've always felt scared of higher-impact exercises. What a blinding flash of the obvious that the right shoe could make all the difference! Here's the team at RunTex assessing what would be the right shoe for me. (Note to Self: In future posts, remind intern with camera to not film from behind quite so much. Egads. The only reason I feel slightly OK actually posting videos of myself in this shape is that one day it will be really great "BEFORE" footage)

They don't call Austin "the Fit City" for nothin' and Paul and his team take full advantage of the beautiful walkable downtown area including Austin's hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake. It was so helpful for me to get to know and understand Paul's philosophy about exercise and endurance, and also receive his reassurance that a complete beginner like me was not biting off more than I should by choosing the Capital 10K as my first ever "exercise event."

Paul didn't pull any punches when he took me up and down the hills of central Austin showing me the various drills and functional exercise activities he recommends to make sure that my muscles are toned and ready to take on a 6.2 mile walk/run.

And at the end of our time together, Paul told me what I should do next and what any beginner should consider as they embark on the fitness path. Look how out of breath I was here - I got winded just standing around with him! Watching this makes me realize how far I have to go.

I am so excited and very grateful to Paul or spending so much time with me. Talk about learning from a master! I feel energized and ready to embark on the training program for the Capital 10K, and I'm looking forward to posting my progress along the way.

About Heather McKissick

Heather McKissick is a self-proclaimed fitness wannabe and a true novice at being "intentional" about her health and well being. She is particularly interested in the idea of resilience … how to bounce back from difficult circumstances or just plain keep going during her busy working life. She is 45, a non-profit CEO, a community leader, happily married for 15 years, and mother to two small and very energetic children, ages 5 and 10. "I just want to be the best I can be in all areas of my life," said McKissick. "The older I get, the more I realize that energy is everything, and I want more!"

Heather can be reached via Leadership Austin at www.leadershipaustin.org.

About Paul Carrozza

Paul Carrozza and his wife Sheila founded RunTex, now the Nation's largest store devoted exclusively to running. In addition to RunTex, Paul also founded RunTex University and RunTex Events. He is co-founder and sponsor of RunTex Marathon Kids Program, which has successfully helped over 100,000 children achieve endurance and learn to enjoy running. Paul is a Council Member of The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.