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Runners by river

Published on January 17th, 2018 | by Start Fitness

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Starting the New Year with A Run – Running For You

If you have never ran before or are not used to running it can be difficult to get into the swing of things. Running takes time, patience and stamina. The more you run the better you become. Fitness levels increase, the distance you run increases and the pace that you run at quickens. This doesn’t happen overnight, but there are steps you can take to get there.

Let’s start this new year with a run and end it with a bang.

Getting started:

Getting started is most definitely the hardest part when it comes to running. This can be overcome though with the right attitude, focus and determination.

The first thing to consider is a plan. You should aim to run at least three times a week for 30 minutes. This will ensure that your fitness levels increase, and your runs improve.

Warm up

It is important to make sure that you warm up before a run. This helps prepare the body and ease it into the run. You should walk for at least five minutes, starting off slowly and picking up the pace toward the end.

Its ok to run and walk

Alternating between running and walking is perfectly ok. Your body will let you know when you need to rest. If you can hear your breath or are short of breath stop running and walk for a little. As soon as you catch your breath you can begin to run again. Do this for at least twenty minutes.

Only time will tell

You will find that when you first begin you may only run for 15-20 seconds and walk for 2-3 minutes. This will likely continue for your first few runs but as you continue to do more this time will increase and the time it takes to catch your breath will decrease. Before you know it, you can feel a real difference in your fitness levels and your running for a solid 3 minutes at a time. Eventually you will be able to run for the full 20 minutes.

Once you are comfortably running twenty minutes you can begin to increase this by five minutes at a time.

Cool down

Just like you warmed up you must also cool down.  Your cool down should be five minutes long allowing the body to return to its resting state. This is vital for bridging the gap between running and reality and for aiding in the recovery process.

Other points to consider

  • Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes
  • Fuel your body properly
  • Vary your runs by going on different routes
  • Set yourself achievable goals
  • Play around with different techniques such as sprints, tempo runs, and hill runs
  • Stick at it

Choosing the right gear

Choosing the right gear for your runs is vital for ensuring that you get the most out of them. The type of gear you choose will depend on the type of running you intend to do, whether that’s trail running, long distance running, off road running or any other form of running you wish to partake in.

Running shoes

Your running shoe is the most important piece of kit you need to invest in. Having the correct footwear will ensure that you are properly supported and comfortable throughout your runs. The type of shoe you need depends on the pronation of your foot.

For those of you who do not know what pronation is, it is the way your foot rolls inward upon impact. Once you understand the pronation of your feet you can find shoes suited to you to prevent injury. There are three types of pronation to be aware of.

  • Underpronators: This is where the foot doesn’t roll in far enough. Runners are more susceptible to shock related injuries and therefore require neutral running shoes. This type of shoe has plenty of cushioning to help distribute impact and prevent injury. Some shoes to consider are Saucony Ride 10, Adidas Supernova Boost, Asics Gel Cumulus 19 and Salomon Sonic.
  • Neutral Runners: This is where the foot has a normal pronation pattern. Neutral runners can wear almost any type of running shoe however those that provide cushioning are best. These help to promote natural foot motion. Despite this some neutral runners prefer a natural running shoe so that they have more ground contact. Some shoes to consider are Adidas PureBOOST, Mizuno Wave Ultima 9, Inov8 Roadtalon 240 and Asics Gel Nimbus 20.
  • Overpronators: This is where the foot rolls to far inward. Runners who overpronate need maximum support, cushioning and stability.  This helps to distribute the impact of running to help minimise the level of pronation.  Those who are severe overpronators should consider a motion control shoe with extra cushioning. Some shoes to consider are Saucony Omni 16, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18, Adidas Ultra Boost ST and Mizuno Wave Paradox 4.

Clothing

OMM Kamleika jacket

Having the right clothing for your runs is also of importance. It’s no good going out in thick pair of jogging bottoms and a hoody. These are heavy to wear; can get in the way and they don’t allow you to adjust your body temperature.

What you should be looking for is layers of technical fabrics. These allow you to add or remove layers, so you can control your temperature and help to wick away sweat.

Some examples of good running clothing include…

  • 2XU Compression Tights: These tights are breathable, lightweight and supportive.
  • OMM Kamleika Running Jacket: This jacket is waterproof and features a stretch material that moves with you.
  • Under Armour Shorts: Made from an ultra-lightweight stretch woven fabric for unrestricted movement. A mesh liner lets moisture escape.
  • More Mile Socks: These socks have padded protection to prevent blisters, absorb pressure and guard against impact. They also provide support and help keep the feet cool.

Accessories

garmin watch

Although not essential there are a variety of running accessories that can improve your runs and make them more enjoyable.

These include the likes of sweatbands for wicking away sweat, safety gear such as lights to stay more visible, mobile phone bands for listening to music and much more.

The most sought-after accessory however is the GPS watch. There are hundreds of options to choose from and finding the right one will depend on your budget and what you would like it to do.

GPS watches can track steps, distance, your heart rate, sleep pattern, calories burned and much more. Some will allow you to read messages on your phone and others will give you reminders that you need to move.

Popular GPS watches include the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Suunto GPS Spartan Trainer.

The health benefits of running

There are many reasons to run including for your health. Running regularly can have a great impact on your health making you feel stronger, fitter and full of energy. So, what exactly are the benefits?

Running makes you happy

It is no secret that exercise makes you feel happier in yourself. When exercising, hormones known as endocannabinoids are released which give you a feel-good feeling. Running just 30 minutes, a day can lift your mood making it easier for you to sleep and concentrate. If you suffer from anxiety or depression running can have a huge impact on how you are feeling that day.

Running keeps you fit

Running regularly will help to keep you fit. As you run you burn calories which helps you to lose or maintain your weight. The body continues to burn calories even after you have stopped running. This is known as the afterburn. You are also using your muscles helping them to grow and strengthen.

Running strengthens your bones

Running helps to increase bone mass and can help to prevent age related bone loss. Despite controversy running also helps strengthen the knees and other joints in the body.

Mind over matter

You may have heard rumors that running is 90% mental and 10% physical. Well rumors no more, it seems it is true.

The brain is a remarkable thing and does its best to ensure that we do things safely.  It can therefore make us believe that we have reached our limits when in fact we haven’t. There is always room to push yourself that little bit further. It turns out that we can even train the brain to prevent us from giving in before we are ready to.

Remember…running is mind over matter.

The journey goes beyond the new year

Once you have begun your running journey be sure to keep it up. Push yourself further than before and continue into many new year’s.

2018 is your beginning, but it doesn’t have to end here!

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Written By Start Fitness