Did you ever want to take up Running but figured it’s such a task to even start and that your good enough without even trying it?
Well, that often happens when you’re a little lost about how to start off in the first place. Running has been my escape from all the trials and tribulations of life and something that has changed me forever. I find it almost meditative to run a route and discover places I wouldn’t have thought of visiting if it weren’t for running. Having said that we as humans have stopped running in the open and have instead resorted to living sedentary lifestyles and picking machines instead of our own ability to go out for a good old jog. I’m not saying you need to be an athlete to do it. Anyone can be a runner. All you need is a good pair of shoes, a good route and a lot of patience.
Running is just like driving. It’s not about the destination; it’s all about the journey. Enjoy each stride as it comes and don’t worry about anything else. Except the traffic, you may not want to mess with that.
I’m going to help you make running as a part of your lifestyle with a few pointers that helped me.
As tempting and idealistic as it sounds to go out there and emulate Mo Farah, you need to understand that to be a successful runner you need to gradually build up to it. Start with walk/jogs, as I like to call it. You start of with walking for 3 mins and then jogging for 1 min. The walk jogs can be altered by your own abilities and the above is an example I follow for my clients to get them started. What this does is that it slowly builds you up for longer periods of running and shorter periods of walking. Eventually you’ll get to a point wherein you would not need to stop between your runs and successfully complete a course with non-stop running. Try and work out a 1-hour session that involves your warm up, walk/Jog and cool down.
Warm Up & Cool Down
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Warm your body up really well before any bout of running. Incorporate dynamic stretching before short/long runs to avoid any stiffness and increase your overall range of motion. Jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees and walking lunges are just a few examples of dynamic stretching. Don’t hold a static stretch for more than 10-15 seconds even if you want to incorporate them before your runs. Ideally static stretching is perfect for your cool downs after your jogs/runs. Likewise with cool down you would want to incorporate more of static stretching. Avoid dynamic stretching at this stage as you need to help release the tension in the muscles and cool yourself down. Hold a static stretch for not more than 30 seconds. Your cool down helps you in a big way to recover from your workout and so you have to stretch it out after your run.
Different techniques are adopted with different levels of runners but I’d recommend you to breathe as per your pace. So if you’re jogging at a slow pace then the breathing technique has to go along with your pace and be slow. Efficiency is the key out here. Going out of breath is quite common and that’s cause people often use improper breathing techniques that wind them out. Stay calm and breathe easy through your run unless it a sprint. Practice rhythmic breathing while you walk and apply that when you jog. Inhale for 3 steps and exhale for 2 steps. Try this and you’ll see a difference. This may sound mechanical but it will eventually become a habit.
Very important again! Always run against the traffic so that you can sport vehicles approaching you. Often running with the traffic could lead in accidents. Please have your focus in the present moment if you’re running within the city limits. It’s always good to be aware of the present moment that could help you avoid any accidents. So be safe when you hit the road.
Progress as and when things get comfortable for you. It could be distance or even speed. Do not move in haste and damage yourself in the bargain. Know your limits and move further as and when you think it’s needed. To just start off as a runner I’d recommend you to lower down the overall time taken to walk and increase the time to jog gradually.
One of the things I often do whenever I travel is to go for a run around the neighbourhood and explore places I wouldn’t generally go to. Changing your route from time to time helps you avoid the boredom that people often refer to when it comes to running. New routes mean new challenges and new terrains. Escape monotony by picking and choosing the route you want to run and add more variations to your runs.
Sign Up For Runs
The best way to keep yourself motivated is by indulging in some community runs or 5K and 10K runs that keep happening around your city. Sign up for them to test yourself by focusing on your own abilities and not competing with someone else. Become a better version of yourself as and when you progress and outdo your previous attempt.
Look running is something that should be considered as your time. Make the most of it by simply having fun and nothing more.
Stop obsessing over your gizmos trying to track how many calories you’ve burnt and how many steps you ran. Pick a route, plug your music and have fun. 60 minutes a day is something you can manage for yourself and that’s not a lot to ask for.
I, identify myself as a recreational runner and I’m least bothered about the timing and speed for you’ll in the initial phase. Have fun is all that I would say and take your time to blend in. Slow and steady wins the race is something we’ve all heard of as kids and it stands true in the case of running as well.
Have a great day and write back to me if you have any other queries on running.