Running away.

9 04 2009

Just finished a 4km run. Best thing is, I don’t even feel the usual exhaustion! Stamina up. Fitness up. Yeah THIS is what running is all about.

Here’s my guide to getting a proper start to running, Fadzli style.

Run1

Well, with running, you basically have to PLAN it. Why? For me, I’m a lazy bum if I do things spontaneously. I’m not the type to suddenly wake up and tell myself “LETS RUN TODAY!” and do it every day after that. I’m pretty sure you guys had some days like that before, but the next day, you don’t. So there’s no consistency right? So plan it out. 4 key areas. Location, Distance, Time & Frequency.

Location
To put it simply, where do you like to run? I’m lucky enough to have access to a pavement-HDB-filled route, and also running right beside a forest (and train track). My suggestion is, go for something you’re comfortable with. You know you’re neighbourhood well, run around there then. If you prefer the fresh morning air in a scenery setting, den maybe one of the designated NParks cycling/running routes will do. One thing to note though. Try to avoid running along side roads which are frequently used by vehicles. Because the exhaust does nothing but harm to your lungs. Not good when you have to take in plenty of air while running.

Distance
Its always good to plan out your distance over a monthly period, just to see how much you’ve achieved, how far you’re gonna push yourself and also for tracking any weight loss. I took mine off Men’s Health Feb 09 edition, because it was tailored perfectly for me!

April 2009 Programme:
Weeks 1 & 2
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4km each
Total: 8km

Weeks 3 & 4
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5km each
Total: 10km

Then in May, I’m gonna up the amp a bit, by doing interval training. I’ll go more into that next month. Basically, planning will help you outline what you want, when you want, and how much you want!

Time
So what time do you wanna go? It really up to you, especially considering that you have personal and work commitments to deal with. But from real-life observations, mornings are better than late in the day, as chances of you skipping a morning running session is a lot lesser than you skipping an evening/night session. You’d also have less difficulty in making healthy food choices for the rest of the day. Men’s Health points this as a psychological factor, because deciding to train in the morning means that you have a choice to sleep early, wake up on time and have a decent breakfast. This will build up good habits which will lead to long term success. Makes sense eh

Frequency
I would like to have this mentioned because there’s also other factors to consider. For example, how busy are you? For a totally busy young working adult, you’d probably have time to exercise only over the weekends, or your off days. Make do with it. The Planning stage will ensure you have a good and sound routine to follow. Also take into account, any sports, gym or miscellaneous exercise that you do over the course of a week. Too much exercise after all, can lead to fatigue and exhaustion. Not good.

Here’s some tips I follow before I run.

  • Make sure you’re hydrated before you run. Drink (not alcohol) an hour before you run, and take in small amounts of water leading up to your session. The best is to drink chilled water, because studies have proven that water fuels your body’s fat burners, by increasing your metabolism rate by 24%. Its partly due to the energy your body generates to warm the water before digestion. Helps the fat loss programme. Its a good practice to implement in the morning.
  • Weather check. DON’T run in the rain. NOT good.
  • Don’t land on your heels, as it may expose you to ankle injuries. Instead, adopt landing with the mid-foot, as this running style lets you flex your leg when it touches the ground, fully utilising your foot’s natural shock-absorbing properties.

There. I hope the short little guide will help you plan for a good running sojourn. As this is just a personal opinion for running, do let me know if you have a better suggestion, because every little bit helps!
Credits to Men’s Health magazine for the info and tips!