We have all seen those fit, agile people pounding the pavements in all weathers with their monitors strapped to their hands and the ever present bottle of water in their hand. Those who love running hail it as the greatest thing since cut bread, those who don’t shudder at this sight and carry on strolling along. Running is one of those Marmite exercises; you love it or hate it, but is it a magic pill in terms of fitness? Here are few pros and cons of running.
Built to run
As with all sports there are those who have the natural physique to run and those who don’t. This may sound patronising but think about it. Athletes tend to be wiry as the aim is to get the foot on and off the pavement, road, track as quickly as possible. Those who are overweight or unfit who take up running as a way to get fit barely achieve their objective as they are simply the wrong body type to be able to run far enough without being out of breath to make a difference.
Even the most expensive shoes in the world cannot protect your joints from impact injuries if you should not be attempting running. Every your foot slams down on that pavement you are putting stress on your ankles, knees and hips. Even top athletes suffer injuries to their joints, so why should you be any different? These injuries can be very painful and if it would mean you have to take a long time off work to recover, is it really worth the risk? UK based personal trainer Adam from Adam Wilson training, who offers PT for all sorts of sport’s people in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks advised us, “A good pair of trainers with a quality in-sole is a necessity, particularly if running on roads or pathways. The human body is not built for such surfaces”.
Running enthusiasts claim there isn’t a feeling in the world like it, but there is. Adrenaline and other feel good endorphins are naturally released into the body whatever exercise you are undertaking if you go at it full on. So if you prefer swimming, badminton, cycling you will still get that buzz.
Running is free; there are no memberships to pay. And the freedom of the road is yours; literally. However, the shoes needed for road running that offer the maximum resistance to impact injuries don’t come cheap. You can wear whatever else you like to run in as long as it as comfortable and lightweight as possible, but if you want to look the part there are shorts, top, monitor and maybe a watch that incorporates a stopwatch if time is as important to you as distance.
Running has always been thought of as a solo sport; just you against the clock. It can also be very sociable too however as there are running clubs right across the length and breadth of the UK. Over in Europe it is not unusual to see packs of runners streaming down the huge cycle lanes attached to main roads, but as this is sadly lacking in the UK, you are on your own once you actually start to run. The socialising will be at the beginning and the end of the run, not during the actual run itself.