08 Mar Want to Run? Let’s Get Started
How do we learn to run? (That’s easy.) By running. Where do we start? (That’s easy too.) Join a clinic, today, not tomorrow. Committing to, for example a 10-week program with a group and a goal race, is an ideal ‘I’m-doing-this-now’ strategy. Immediately you are surrounded by others who are also acting on their desire to learn to run, get fitter, be more active. Everyone has different reasons, different goals. That’s doesn’t matter. Just ‘do it’. Everyone needs a plan. Signing on with a group will give you a training program, a coach, the support of like-minded folks. Your coach wants to get you to the Start Line prepared to run and injury-free. Find enjoyment in the process, the journey. Why? Because as I like to say ‘Fun Gets Done’.
Note: Perhaps you are not a ‘true novice’, you have run in the past but it was years ago. It is important that you don’t try to duplicate what you used to be able to do, at least until you have built up a reasonable running base. Just sayin’
- Purpose: Take time to identify your purpose. Why do you want to run? Knowing why will keep you going when things feel hard, when circumstances test your resolve. Call this your ‘intrinsic motivation’.
- Beware Don’t Compare: Don’t waste time wishing for things you aren’t. You have no control over how tall you are or the design of your body. Do the best with what you have.
- Training Plan: We all need a plan. There is no single program that works best for everyone. With the help of your coach and listening to your body you will make the program work for you.
- Focus: Focus on the task at hand. Your body can do a lot more than your brain will want you to attempt. Both the body and the brain require training.
- Safety First: This is not an opportunity to relive ACDCs ‘Back in Black’. Wear reflective gear; follow the rules of the road. Be safe.
Dynamic stretching is ideal prior to exercise to prepare the joints for movement and muscles for optimal activation.
Static stretches are highly beneficial after the workout. Static sustained stretches are designed to hold a position for a joint or a muscle that is minimally challenging.
Dynamic Drills: Dynamic Drills improve speed, form, and efficiency.
Here is a sample of dynamic drills and stretches. Remember at each session your coach will teach and practice these moves (plus others).
A. Dynamic Stretching Examples:
- Straight Leg Swings (forward, back & side-to-side)
- Bent leg hip hurdlers
- Bent Knee Leg Lift (Hold last one up and rotate ankle)
- Walking Lunge (option: gently turn torso when in lunge position)
Option: Lunge Matrix (5x each forward, back, side, and angle)
B. Dynamic Drills: (Do 20-30 or for a distance, e.g., 40metres)
- High Knees
- Butt Kicks
- Butterflies (Lateral moving jacks)
- Carioca (grapevine movement)
- Fast Feet
- Strides (ST are runs that last from 15-20 seconds each at a comfortably fast pace, not all-out sprint. Take a 1-minute rest between strides.)
C. Recovery & Static Stretches (10-30 seconds)
- Walk on toes–straight ahead, toes out & toes in
- Walk on heels–straight ahead, heels out, and heels in
- Glute Stretch: Bent Leg over quad of opposite leg and sit back feeling stretch through glute and hip
- Quad Stretch
- Hamstring Stretch
- Calf Stretch
- Eccentric Calf Raises
- …and more
Beginners’ Breathing Tip
Step One: Focus on breath out. It is important to breathe out, get rid of the excess CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) that is caused by running. The harder you run the faster you deliver CO2 to the lungs. Focus on the breath out and the O2 (Oxygen) will come in.
Step Two: Establish a breathing rhythm, preferably 2-2. Take 2 steps e.g., left, right while breathing out and 2 steps while breathing in. This works effectively. (Did you know that most accomplished runners breathe with a 2-2 rhythm?)
That’s all for today. Good Luck getting started. Thanks for reading.