Fitness

My Love-Hate Relationship with Running

If you don’t already know, I have a love-hate relationship with running. The hate part began 2 decades ago when I did basic military training in the South African Air Force. Running has never been my thing but I have always secretly wished that I could run. Like just run non-stop for a mere and insignificant 5km. The love part is where running (or run-walking in my case) helps me clear my head and process things. At the end of a run I always feel rather strong, but it’s also the exercise the improves my fitness level the quickest.

When I started my weight loss journey, my biokineticist wanted me to run 30 minutes on the treadmill daily. Oh my word … I think I almost died that first day. Needless to say that there was no running involved but my chest was on fire and my breathing was heavy. It was complete and utter torture. Thinking back my speed on the treadmill was a 4. I started doing parkruns with my husband and kids. Time for my first 5km was more than 60 minutes. I have however had slow but steady progress over the last year and now run on the treadmill with my speed setting at 8 and I can complete a 5km in 38 minutes. It’s all about progress and not perfection, but I’m ready to take my running to the next level.  So I a 12 week program and my blogger friend suggested a running app that gets you to 5km in 8 weeks, so at least we have choices.

12 weeks to a 5km
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Phone app suggested by Cherralle who runs the blog My Daily Cake

A Few Pointers to Keep in Mind

  • Safety First

Remember to always get medical clearance before starting on any exercise programme. It’s also important to listen to your body. Road running and trail running has become increasing dangerous in South Africa. Try and join a running club or find a running partner. Avoid running on your own in isolated and/or dark areas.

  • Shoe Selection

The single most important piece of equipment is running shoes. If at all possible have your feet analysed to determine the if you are a pronator or not. I, in particular have flat feet so stability running shoes are best suited for me. I’m torn between my Asics Noosa Tri 11’s and my New Balance 860v8’s. I’ve heard that feet, particularly those of beginners, tend to swell the further you run. Something to consider when running longer distances.

  • Running Attire

When it comes to running, runners prefer comfort far ahead of fashion when it comes to fitness gear. Begin with basics: a pair of shorts or tights (helps prevent chafing) and definitely invest in a good quality high impact sports bra. Layering is essential in colder conditions. Reflective gear is import for night races and road running. I definitely can’t run without my buff and peak cap. I’ve yet to find a good quality pair of running sunglasses but it’s definitely on my list.

  • Tech Stuff

GPS watches and fitness trackers allow runners to measure time, distance, pace, and much more. Personally, I love my Fitbit and seeing I’m not a professional runner, the Fitbit Charge 2 does everything I need it to do

These also happen to be some of my fav exercises

General instructions:

  • Don’t forget to start with a 5-10 minute brisk walk or jog to warm up before every session and end with a 5-10 minute brisk walk to cool down.
  • After cooling down, take the time to do some stretching.

Guidelines

  • Easy run – comfortable pace, where conversation with walking partner is easy.
  • Moderate run – you might be left slightly breathless.
  • Moderate run with hills – a moderate-paced run that includes about 3 to 4 hills of 300m each.
  • Fast run – make a concerted effort to maintain a fast pace.
  • Repeats, tempo, hills, strides – speed-work sessions.
  • Strength training – not essential for you to finish the 5km distance, but it has tremendous benefits, both for your running fitness and your health.
  • Cross training – not essential, but makes your training programme more balanced.
  • Rest – a vital part of any training programme when your muscles increase in strength

So while running is an internal and mental battle for me, 2018 will be the year I overcome this and the year I run a 5km non-stop. 1July 2018 Im coming for you.