Saturday, April 5, 2008

Running 101

It has always been a goal by many people to find the miracle drug that can cure and prevent the majority of diseases. The true miracle medicine though cannot be simply bought from a drug store and for many, the price isn’t easy to pay. The true miracle drug I am referring to is exercise. Since this blog is intended for running, most of the benefit that I’ll be mentioning would come from running, although most of these benefits can also be achieved in any form of aerobic exercise.
Here are the health benefits of running taken from “The Marathon Runner’s Handbook” by Bruce Fordyce:
1.) Cardiac Strengthening – A fit heart pumps 50% more blood than an unfit one. It has been proven that a fit heart reduces the risk of a coronary heart failure.
2.) Regular physical exercise such as running maintains a healthy inner lining to the body’s blood vessels, making artery blockages a less likely occurrence.
3.) Superior Lung Capacity - A runner’s lung capacity is vastly superior than others because it is more expansive and expel inhaled smoke, gas and foreign matter more efficiently.
4.) Strengthens the joints – Contrary to most people think, running actually helps strengthen the areas that are being stressed the most. More blood supply are being brought to the joints due to the stress on the femur, tibia and fibula bones of the legs, which also sets in motion a strengthening process which builds up the bone density.
5.) Healthier lifestyle – Yes, chicken or the egg, but true when you start to enjoy running, it is inherent that you become more health conscious.
6.) Stimulates the Brain – That’s right, exercise helps to stimulate the brain. It is no joke. It is a known fact that due to an increased blood supply to the brain through activity stimulates the thinking and creative parts of the brain.
Now, if you could just combine all these benefits and put them in a capsule, then you get a miracle drug. Unfortunately, reaping these benefits is not as easy as just drinking two tablets a day. It takes patience and effort to get into running. The good news is, the hard part is just getting started, and then it gets easier until you are hooked.
So how do you start? I’m not really an expert in running, and in fact I’m also quite new to the sport. I have just been running for a year, but I’ve gathered here some tips I got from Runner’s World and a few things that worked for me when I started running.
1.) Buy yourself a nice pair of running shoes that will work for you. If you are unsure what shoe to buy, then I’d recommend visiting and check out their shoe finder and tips of getting the perfect shoe type for you. You’ll be surprised how complicated it is to choose the perfect running shoe. Once you’ve got that, you’ll be motivated to run and test your new shoe.
2.) Focus first on distance before timing yourself. If you are just starting, just count the distance you are running and don’t mind how long you finish that distance. Logging the distances you’ve ran for the week will also help motivate you to keep running.
3.) Remember the 10% rule. The 10% rule just means not to increase the intensity and distance you are running to more than 10% every week. This will help you avoid injuries. For example if you normally run 3 kilometer per day for week 1 then for week 2, you should only run at most 3.3 kilometers.
4.) Find a running buddy. Let’s face it, sometimes running alone is boring. So it is highly recommended to find a running partner. And please… don’t race your partner. Just enjoy the company and the run.
5.) Commit to wake up early in the morning to do your morning runs. Morning is the perfect day to run because of the cool weather. If you find it difficult to wake up, then you could actually sleep with your running attire so that getting up becomes easier since you only need to wear your socks and shoe to start doing your run. You are not limited to run only in the mornings though. Some people run in the afternoon or in the evening if their time permits it.
6.) Enjoy the view. It is easier to run when you are simply out there to enjoy the view. Try to invent your running course. Be creative in looking for new routes.
7.) If you could spend for a gadget then go ahead. Buy yourself a Heart Rate Monitor or a watch that can compute the pace and distance you are running. Nike for example offers a device that can measure the distance and speed you are running. Be careful though in relying too much with these devices. They are just tools to help you monitor your progress. Don’t be too attached to it especially in races. I only use mine to make sure I’m on track of my pace. But I still use my competitive nature direct the speed of the race.
8.) Remember that you could increase your performance with a lesser effort as long as you are consistent with your training. Always put this in mind, because this is the very reason that will keep you motivated.
9.) Join races. It’s the best venue to get to meet other runners and to break PRs. You will also be surprised that running in races becomes a lot easier than your training runs. This means you begin to run faster than your usual pace during trainings. This has always been a phenomenon, but it is true. There may be a lot of factors why this is so, but to my experience I can run 20 - 30 seconds per kilometer faster than my usual training race pace during actual races. That’s 3 to 5 minutes faster in a 10K race!
So, what are you waiting for? Put on those running shoes and hit the streets!


Marga said...

taki! ang cute ng race numbers natin! yours is 444, mine is 777!!! i loveit!!!

Eustacio said...

Hehehe... its the race number I treasure the most cause its my first marathon. :)

Will you join a race this sunday? I wish I'd join the Big Blue Run or Anta 4th Global City run, but unfortunately ill be at Laguna tomorrow.

Marga said...

no i didn't join any race. sumisecret training kuno hahaha. baka runnex or pringles run na ang sunod kong race :D