In which Shiva tells you to begin at the beginning!
How do I join the running movement that’s spreading like wildfire in these parts? Everyone faces this question at the beginning (I know I did!). To answer this, I present to you Running 101, a set of tips for those who want to take up running.
1. Sign up for a race: Signing up for a race implies that you have committed yourself towards something. By doing this, you are fixing a goal that is real and visible.
2. Find the right running gear: Find the right type of shoe which fits you. Identify the type of garments that you are most comfortable in while running. Would you want to listen to your music on your MP3 player, or would you want to use your smartphone to double as a music player and run tracker? There is no ‘one size fits all’ method here, but there are certain standard guides and measures to help you make your decision.
3. Run with a group: This is by far the strongest factor which will make a difference to your running. Find a group near your area and start running with them. Running groups typically have people in various calibers training together and the experienced runners take turns in guiding the beginners until they climb to the next level. This is a great chance to meet new people, train intelligently, and most importantly, beat the boredom of running alone.
4. Warm up & Stretch: These are a vital part of running and are often overlooked. We like the experience of the Runner’s High, but not the pain which comes afterwards when we are asked to touch our toes without bending our knees. These warm up and cool down routines are important in avoiding injury. This brings us to our next common topic of discussion…
5. Listen to your body: Let’s face it. We are not Superman. We do not have superhuman powers bestowed by the rays of the sun. We are ordinary human beings who are prone to injury. Running is not injurious, but injuries can happen on account of running. Having good running form, listening to our body, and not overdoing things, coupled with strengthening exercises, will make sure that we stay far away from an injured leg. All runners face injuries. The difference lies in the manner we treat and overcome that.
6. Have fun: This trumps all the other points mentioned above. Running long distances is an experience. We get through the initial struggle to overcome the inertia, followed by the body getting into a rhythmic motion and eventually reaching the “Runner’s zone”. This is what we runners are addicted to. And adding to that, there is a joy in boasting to people that we ran <Insert long distance here> :-)
That’s it! It’s as simple as that! In future posts we will talk about training plans and strength training and so on, in the meantime, be sure to take the First Step!
Happy running, folks!!!
This article is written by Shivram Lakshminarayanan, one of the most charismatic and popular runners on our roads. This enthusiastic “Bessie Flyer” epitomizes “Runners are nice guys” and always manages to make newbies feel welcome & old guns feel special!