Tag Archives: Running

Is running a magic pill? The pros and cons of running.

runner girl

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.

Injuries

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”.

Endorphins

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.

Cost

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.

Sociable

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.

RUNNING CLUB UPDATE – The Trick to Staying on Track

It’s easy to get motivated to run in the first month of the new year, but how do you keep it going the other 11? Start now by setting goals that guarantee you’ll stay moving throughout the months ahead.

Bribe yourself. Set a mileage goal and treat yourself when you reach it. Vow to run 10 miles per week, perhaps, or 40 miles in a month. Then get yourself a new pair of running tights when you hit the mark.

Combine (running) business with pleasure. Pick a race at a fun destination this spring and make it a minivacation. Register (and request the time off from work) now, so you won’t forget to follow through. One of my favorites is the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon (held this year on May 10). But even making a weekend out of a run in a nearby city can be motivating, too.

Be progressive. Want to build up to running a half-marathon by the end of the year? Train for a 5K this spring and a 10K in the summer. Setting (and reaching!) successive goals of increasing distances will help you keep plugging away throughout the year. Find races near you at www active.com.

Say spa. As the year draws to a close, get away for a recharging run-spa weekend. Choose a spa that offers challenging trails, a wide variety of treatments, and yoga classes to keep you limber. My favorites: the Stepping Stone Spa in Vermont (www.steppingstone spa.com), Red Mountain Spa in Utah (www.redmountainspa .com), and Red Rock Spa in Nevada (www redrocklasvegas .com). Or create the same effect closer to home: Spend a relaxing afternoon at a day spa with a friend after knocking off a long run together.