Hello and welcome to blog number 2!
Today I want to talk about running.
Now for any beginner, running can be a hard task, being able to run constantly for 5,10, 15 mins can be very tiring and boring in some respects (of course, this depends on how you feel about running). For me personally I love running. I wouldn’t say I am an amazing runner, but I’m addicted to the feeling you get after each run, runners high. That sense of achievement that comes with pushing my body to its limit.
*Remember you don’t grow in comfort zones*
Look, I could sit here all day and tell you how amazing running is. However, if you don’t like it you won’t do it. But, if you knew the benefits of it… Maybe you might try it?
1- Running will burn plenty of calories, so anyone who is training to shed a few lbs or kilos, running could be great for you. On average you will burn 300-400 calories in a 5k run. Might not seem a lot, but if you guys are also in a calorie deficit and you do this on top, then winner winner – cook yourself a chicken dinner.
2- Running will improve your mental health. Pushing your body and experiencing runners high will gain you that electricity around your body. I regularly try to run in the morning when I know I’m not feeling my best. I get back, might have only been 2-3K but I instantly feel better – thank you runners high – No one ever felt worse after a workout than before. Endorphins my friends – they’re a wonderful thing.
3- It will increase your bone strength. Running is a weight bearing exercise that will put stress through your bones – now you don’t have to worry about drinking 17 pints of milk a week – though this is still an excellent source of nutrition.
4- Yet, last but most importantly running will improve your cardiovascular fitness. Something your future self will thank you for when you’re still able to run well into your retirement phase.
So, where do you sign up? Beginners where do we start?
There’s lots of different ways you guys can start running. If you’re beginner that is new to all this and wants to be showing their mates up with your impeccable 5k time I would highly recommend – couch to 5k. This is an app you can download that will over time keep pushing you and training you to eventually run 5k in good time!
Another one I would use is Strava! Now Strava will not tell you what to do, but it is an amazing app that you can track your runs and check your history of runs. You can challenge yourself to beat last week’s time, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy that competitive edge to it… Having yourself as your competitor is always a fun motivation, right? It works very similar to Instagram as you can follow others to check out their runs. (Shameless plug: Follow me on Strava Ollie Griggs)
If you feel like you’re ready and would like the next level up, I’d advise on setting a distance (say 2k) and try each time to beat your time. Not only will this make you fitter, but it is also a challenge each time to help you beat your score (making you push yourself). As we have already mentioned – you do not grow in your comfort zone – so lace up those trainers and jump out of it.
The hidden gems to help your runs better and better…
- WARM UP! I can’t stress enough how a simple a few stretches and a light, warm up to build up the intensity before you run can help you stay away from any injuries. Try to focus on all muscles in the lower limbs to prepare for your big run. Notice how light and loose your legs feel as well!
- Choosing the surface you run on! Hard impact on the roads can cause some injuries. Though it is fine to run on tarmac and road if you have access, I would advise on running on grass, or wet solid sand near the water!
- Music! Who doesn’t love the feel-good factor of your favourite tune? I actually can’t set a PB without music, as weird as it sounds, but with that beat going through me. It spurs me on that extra yard. You will understand when you try it. Because you are going to try running after reading this right?
- Eating at the right time! If you’re consuming the world’s biggest pasta salad before you run you will feel super heavy, tired and you will defo have everyone’s worst enemy – a stitch making the run more painful than fun.
- Fluids! Keeping yourself hydrated will help every chance you have on setting a personal best and increase your performance.
- Training for events! Sometimes working towards a half marathon or marathon helps your motivation, as humans we need clear, concise goals to foresee how we are going to get there. Having a level of motivation with each run will help feel like you are working towards something.
Watch out for… shin splints!
This is a very common injury with running. What is it? Shin splints – an overuse injury. It is very common in beginners due to the lower limbs not being used to being under the stress of running.
So how can we avoid Shin splints?
1- Running trainers! Get yourself the freshest runners for your feet. Let them have enough bounce so there is not so much stress in the trainers running through the lower legs. Also getting a trainer that supports your foot arch is essential!
2- Stretch! Stretching your calf’s (Soleus and Gastrocnemius) is a must! Try to factor it into your daily routine… 30 days to make a habit.
3- Don’t increase your training load too quick! Take things steady and have a gradual increase in how much you run and how far you run each week. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nor were the world’s greatest athletes.
So, you have the facts, you have the knowledge, you know what equipment you need. So, what are you waiting for? Tomorrow seems a good time to start doesn’t it? Or maybe even today?
*Remember an extra 1% each day and you will be 365 times better in a year!*
Many thanks for your time, enjoy your run.