There's Freedom in Running
Running was my biggest ‘hate’ when i was younger. When i went to volleyball practice, we would start from a warm up job around the pitch and i hated the feeling of breathlessness, self conscious about how i found it hard to complete two laps, out of place. I didn’t see the benefit of it at the time. Just something horrible i had to do before actually getting to play with the ball. In a volleyball game, you perform small runs and sprints to catch the ball thrown by the opponent, but that was never a chore, i loved ‘'chasing’ that ball and catching it, but tell me to run around without the purpose of catching, receiving a creating a play..not thank you.
Looking back, there were many reasons why i didn’t enjoy that part of the practice, ultimately it was because it made me feel different from the other members of the team as i felt i wasn’t ‘able’ to run.
Over the years, it became my ultimate phobia and not in a million years i would have ever thought i would come to enjoy it in the slightest. Lol.
After joining the gym, My PT interspersed our training with some bouts on the dreaded treadmill. Having someone to motivate me to try, push a little harder gave me the courage and incentive to start running for myself. It all started with a challenge at the gym, members and personal trainers contributed distance on the treadmill for 24 hours. That day, i completed my first 5k, in my own time, at my own pace, actually running.
That inspired me to take it outdoors, to then enter a race so i had a commitment to stick to and now i can say i enjoy running for me and the benefits i feel it brings to my well being. Outdoors i feel free, stimulated, challenged, and it’s me vs me even more than in the weights room, because i place a limitation on my running skills, still all to attain. I don’t run all year round, sometimes i fall out of love with it and i ask myself: what’s next but i must admit, but when i go out again, it’s like i get a massive endorphin surge and i realise how much i missed the feeling of achievement that comes with a completed run…afterwards lol during i want to die like everyone else LOLOL.
I can now run with practice for up to 10km. This year i’d like to go beyond that and see how far i can push it.
I also want to work on hill climbs…now this is a challenge…. i can get on board with running….hills are a new kind of animal but i got this far…let’s see if i can go further.
- improved cardiovascular health as more oxygen enters the cardiac respiratory cycle
- Can improve mental health
- Can support weight-loss along side resistance training
- Reduces stress, especially outdoors where we are stimulated by what’ around us
- It gives you a sense of freedom to move and explore
- Gives a sense of achievement the more you reach a milestone
- it can be an individual sport that really makes you challenge yourself You vs You on that road or trail
- However, you can join running clubs and make it super social. Having a team of support reaps many benefits: healthy competition, support network, shared experience and values
- It can lead to injuries due to bad form when running ( but this is true to any discipline you undertake). A running practice schedule with resistance training will help strengthening the joints and build muscles to improve your running skills. Yes, of course you have to run to get better but never forget the building blocks in the gym;
- If you carry a lot of extra weight running can be your goal if that is what you want to achieve, it sure spurred me on to try, but as it does impact the joints, when we carry a lot of extra weight it can lead to un-necessary injuries that may put you off trying altogether.
You can start though with a walk run approach. Walk first to help with weight-loss (along side nutrition and workouts). Intersperse with short periods of running. You will improve your competence, stamina, give you confidence to go further.
Running is most definitely not a sprint in my opinion, it’s well, a marathon. You don’t have to go from zero to marathon straight off the bat, but you can surely take a small step to reach your first milestone every day.
With a client, i would hardly ever implement running as the first port of call as they may not have the endurance, stability, proprioception and mobility to do so, but we can certainly start to build the blocks to our first run through:)
I can say i like running because of the ultimate freedom i feel when i am out there with my thoughts (i am a lone runner, i’m afraid, i prefer it this way), my music, the scenery and my own demons to chase away.
Running can do so much more than you can imagine, if you let it happen. try it <3
TIPS FOR RUNNING
1 START like i said. The first step is to walk before you can run the distance. Don’t worry about how fast and how far you run, how long for. The point is that you are starting this new adventure. Log it, use it as a milestone for continuous improvement over time. Use the walk-run method with a 20 minute target: warm up with a walk for 5 minute, jog for a minute, walk for two, cool down for 5 minutes. Build on this, until you run more than you walk.
2 Don’t get discouraged success is not determined by ONE day but all the effort combined each time you lace up and try again
3 Supercharge your run with Music or listen to a podcast Having your favourite music in your ears whilst you are undertaking an effort, helps you get to pace, go a little further, makes you feel good about the task at hand and distract you from it too, so you can enjoy your run. Podcasts too are full of inspiration and motivation. Stick one on and get going.
4 Plan your route & don’t forget your water Planing ahead which route you are gonna take, is going to take away the guess work on the day. Bring with you water for hydration. For short runs, you do not need sports drinks laced with sugar. It will defeat the point of running if you take in a large amount of liquid calories, carbs to fuel your run. Water will suffice always. When we move to longer distances, analyse your performance, then we can look into introducing ‘on the go’ sustainment. For most people, this won’t ever need to happen, and water is more than enough to keep you hydrated :)
5 Get Inspired by others I listen to a hell of a lot of podcasts and have re-discovered a passion for reading. I especially drawn to podcasts, book and documentaries about incredible feats. Reading, listening and watching others journeys into fitness and running truly gives me an extra gear when it comes to my own training and goals. This year my favourite book so far has been ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins!
I am re-reading it as we speak as i found so many helpful tips, mindset inspiration & good ol’ saying it like it is.
Who ever you are drawn to, follow them & get inspired :)
Also people that inspire me Ross Edgley…When it comes to incredible body performance, knowledge & ease in explaining concepts Ross just has that spark; His book ‘The World’s Fittest Book’ is literally my go to as a trainer and as a human to get inspired & determined.
It doesn’t have to be anyone well known, it could be your fellow runners, your friends, family whoever you feel makes you grow and develop. BUT Don’t Compare- Your journey in running and fitness is your own, you make it, at your own pace :)
6 Helpful Techy apps
There are tons of epic apps out there to help you get started on your running quest
Couch to 5K
Couch to 10K
Map My Run
And even more fun ones like ZombieRun or Run an empire, where you run in a gamification setting which can totally add to the fun