Marathon season is under way and you may be tempted to get the running bug. And why not? Running is one of the best ways to get fit, healthy and change shape; it gives you mental and physical strength; time out from your busy life and a chance to get out into the fresh air and run free.
◦ Help to build strong bones, as it is a weight bearing exercise
◦ Strengthen muscles
◦ Improve cardiovascular fitness
◦ Burn plenty of kilojoules
◦ Help maintain a healthy weight
The great thing about running is pretty much the most natural way of getting and staying fit: You can do it anywhere, do it alone or with friends; do it on the beach, in the park, round your neighbourhood (it’s great for getting a daily slice of local life!) or if the weather’s rubbish, on a running machine, if you have access to one. All you really need to invest in is a good pair of running shoes.
Running shoes are the one piece of equipment you’ll need, and they are very important if you’re thinking of taking up running, because a bad pair can do a lot of damage and you may end up getting shin splints, bad knees or ankles. Always get your first pair of running shoes fitted properly (in a running shop if possible), so they can have a look at the shape of your feet and how you bear your weight and advise you on the shoes that are going to give you the best support.
How to get started – 7 steps to successful running:
1. Give yourself a realistic goal. Follow something like the Couch to 5Km (http://www.c25k.com/) program or similar. Coolrunning.com also has good training schedules you can follow. Enlist a friend to join you. Aim for a fun run, not a marathon. Do it for a charity to give you extra incentive to keep going.
2. Find your route. There are various apps for this or you can look at http://www.mapmyrun.com/. You can work out your route, its distance and even how many calories you’ll burn doing it!
3. Start slowly. You’re not going to be a marathon runner over night! You need to build up your muscle strength a bit first and test out your joints! If like me you have dodgy knees or back, then the best way to start is by fast-walking your route, and building in some step ups (onto a wall or steps) to build up the strength in the muscles above your knees which will support your knees. When you’re running also focus on keeping your back straight and engaging your tummy muscles to support it. Don't go from 1km to 40km in one week. It will kill you! Gradually build up your distance.
4. Pace yourself. Until you’re really fit (and sometimes even when you are) the first 10 minutes of your run can often be hard until your body relaxes into it and you find your rhythm. Pace yourself. Don’t go too fast. Find a speed that you feel comfortable with and you’ll be able to keep going for a lot longer.
5. Build in some sprints. There is an exercise trend at the moment that says exercise for fat burning and weight loss is all about intense burst of exercise. Whether you believe in this theory or not, sprints are good for increasing fitness levels and muscle strength – especially if you sprint up a hill, and there’s a nice downward slope when you get to the top! As well as sprints you can also find a bench en route and do some stretches, tricep dips, anything you want to build in some more exercise and break up your run.
6. There’s nothing worse than running when you’re dehydrated. It makes you tired and sluggish and your muscles will not want to work! Make sure you have a glass of water before you go and that you take a bottle with you and sip as you go along. Your muscles need water.
7. Warm up and down. DO NOT FORGET TO STRETCH. So important if you want to be able to walk the next day! Stretch your legs, arms and back before AND AFTER your run. Give yourself a recovery day. To begin with your muscles need recovery time so every other day or 3 times a week is a good path to take.
If you're a novice or even if you're an experienced runner, you may want to have a quick look at Health & The City's common running mistakes article...click here.
Good luck. Report back in a few weeks when you’ve got the bug!
7 Consejos para Empezar a Correr
La temporada de maratones se acerca y estarás tentado a unirte a ellos. ¿Y por qué no? Correr es la mejor manera de ejercitarse, estar saludable y ponerse en forma; te da fortaleza física y mental, es la oportunidad para salir de tu rutina ajetreada y tomar aire fresco y correr libremente.
Beneficios de correr:
◦ Ayuda a construir huesos fuertes, ya que es un ejercicio de soporte de peso
◦ Fortalece los músculos
◦ Mejora la capacidad cardiovascular
◦ Quema una gran cantidad de calorías
◦ Ayuda a mantener un peso saludable
Lo mejor de correr es que es la manera más natural de mantenerse en forma: lo puedes hacer en cualquier lugar, sólo o con amigos, en la playa, en el parque, alrededor de tu vecindario (es ideal para mantenerte al tanto de lo que sucede en tu localidad) o si el clima no lo permite puedes usar una caminadora eléctrica si es que tienes el acceso a una. ¡Todo lo que necesitas es invertir en un buen par de tenis!
Un buen par de tenis para correr es todo el equipo que necesitas para empezar este deporte y es muy importante que encuentres los adecuados ya que el par incorrecto podría dañar tus pies, ocasionarte calambres, problemas de rodilla y tobillos.
Compra tu primer par de tenis en una tienda especializada para que obtengas la medida correcta, de esta manera podrán ver la forma de tus pies y aconsejarte los que te darán más soporte de acuerdo a tu peso.
¿Cómo empezar? 7 pasos al éxito