Of all sports, running is probably the easiest on your wallet. It’s cheap, convenient, burns calories quickly, is convenient, empowering and fun. The only important investment you will need is a good pair of shoes designed for running. Like millions of runners, I’ve never been a serious competitor, but like those others, that doesn’t keep me from enjoying the thrill of a big city run. Whether you run for the endorphins or the t-shirt, you can also enjoy time to be alone, clear your mind, energize your body, and get away from it all.
How Do You Start?
As a beginner I noticed that I become so short of breath so quickly. You can start of by alternating walking with jogging at a pace that feels good but is still a challenge. You can alternate a minute each or keep it down to 30 seconds of each. Your present fitness level, weight, and leg strength are determining factors for how long you can go. If you begin with a walk jog sequence, you can extend the duration of your exercise time, thereby building bone and muscle strength, burning calories, and increasing endurance. Walk and jog at a pace that lets you breathe evenly and converse in short sentences.
Before the cardiorespiratory benefits (such us efficient heart pumping action and improved Oxygen uptake by the working muscles) begin to kick in, beginners can fatigue rapidly with full runs. They reach the anaerobic threshold. A state in which lactic acid, a normal by-product of metabolism, builds up in the muscle and basically shuts them down early.Feel Fitness.
Streets and side walks are unforgiving, besides forcing you to cope with traffic and obstacles. Run on soft surfaces that provide soft landings. Consistent pounding on hard surfaces can lead to aching knee joints or shin splints. I have gradually increased the duration of my runs by seeking out for soft trails, tracks, and other kinder surfaces that give my joints and skeleton more cushioning. I also vary my runs to include hill work, speedwork, slower days and endurance runs. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced runner, it is wise to vary your running routes and surfaces to ensure you get a mix of grass, trail and road, flat routes and hills. It will help to break boredom and provide mental variety.
Build Your Lower Body Strength.
Runners and cyclists tend to be the most enthusiastic about their sports and they find it difficult to switch gears to other activities. Running works practically every muscle from the waist down-the quads, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and gluteal. It strengthens bones, ligaments and tendons as well as muscles. I have always incorporated strength training for my muscular strength and endurance, for my lower body. Add a strength training and mobility to your running program as well and do not forget to stretch after your runs.
If you experience excessive fatigue, nausea, soreness, dizziness , or chest or arm pain while running, be sure to check with your physician before you run again. In fact, if you are over 45, haven’t exercised at all, and want to take up running or any other vigorous sport. It is a good idea to do a fitness test and get clearance from your doctor before you get started.Feel Fitness.
Rest Days Are Training Days In Disguise.
I listen to my body. Do the same, rest don’t obsess. Take a day off at every three days, if not every other day. Doing the same movement every day can lead to over-use injuries. When you do the same thing over and over, you wear down cartilage and tear your muscles and tendons. Repetition movement can become boring. No matter how strong your discipline is now, you will eventually have trouble sticking with it. Ensure that you are well hydrated and consume healthy nutrients. Good recovery prepares your mind and body to tackle the next challenge (run) better. Rest days are training days in disguise, don’t skip them.
Running can be a sociable event or a personal one. It can be easy or hard, competitive or friendly. You can run any time of the day, anywhere you happen to be but the only way to start is to get your shoes on and get out there. Feel free to check us out at Feel Fitness Center and join our team for the upcoming Nairobi City Marathon coming up on the 2nd of July 2023.Feel Fitness.