Image by Penstones from Pixabay

I still remember the days where I used to think that I will never be able to run ever. I always wonder at the way my body has improved and has adjusted itself to be able to endure not just a 5 km run but a 21.5 km run. Yes, yesterday I ran a total of 21.5 km.

As I began the time was 17:00 on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. After having ran 5.5 km, it began to rain. This was the best thing ever to happen to me during a run. The rain was keeping my body cool and functional. I ran a clean 19 km with my body feeling as if I am in a slow 3 km run. The pain began manifest when I was approaching the 20th kilometer. I endured and persisted until I had ran a half marathon (21.1 km) and 400 meters on top.

I can attest that it was the most enjoyable run ever. I was in charge of the pace, the breathing and I listened to my body. I was confident in my strides and I had a smile on my face, a thing I never do during any run. I am looking forward to having a go again on the same 21 km route.

I think what made me enjoy the run is that I was not focusing on the numbers. I did not care about the pace or the time it would take me to complete the run. I only focused on finishing the run and I took necessary steps to ensure that I complete it. Some of those steps are:

Backing off

There is always a temptation to run harder and faster when doing a longer run. The good practice one must subscribe to is to learn to back off. Do not rush things. Save the energy for the rest of the run. When you feel that you are running out of air and you are breathing heavily, it means you are running too hard. Back off until you are able to speak during the run. If you run hard you may find yourself getting tired to quickly. We should always run smarter not harder.

There was absolutely no need for me to run harder nor faster. I was not in a race. I was only running to build my endurance. I succeeded in my effort. I ran the whole predetermined distance and I could have gone even further had the time permitted me.

Correct Running Posture

It is important to maintain a correct running posture. This a relaxed posture. When running you should avoid pulling your arms to your chest and avoid making fists. You should run relaxed. Have your arms swing lower past your hips and with open hands. You are not in the fist fight, you are running. Relax the shoulders. If you run relaxed, you will enjoy the run and you will run longer.

Breathe

The body needs oxygen. The muscles need oxygen, especially when running. Breathe in and fill the belly will air and let the air out. If you cannot breathe, then slow down. In order to be able to control my breathing, I pay attention to it during the warm up process within the first 2 km of my 21 km run. I need to be able to develop a rhythm as I run and breath. If my body want to break that rhythm, I slow down and recover.

There are many tricks and hacks to get going in a long run and they vary from person to person. Over all, if you don’t enjoy the run then you are not doing it correctly. Keep working on it until you are able to run with a smile. Ensure that when you run a long distance, in the last few kilometers, you can pick the pace up and slow down at will.

You know that when you have finished your running session and you feel super exhausted, you’ve had a good work out. Go out there and RUN!!

Contact Us

Join our WhatsApp Group, Like our Facebook page and Follow us on Twitter or email us

One of the most uncomfortable moments in my life of road running is when I have to cross paths with someone walking their dog(s). I love dogs and I believe that they are loyal pets you may want to have in your home. What is it then that makes me feel uncomfortable when I meet dog walkers with their dogs?

1. The nature of dogs

My experience with untrained dogs is that they are very ill-disciplined and they get excited quickly. I always get the feeling that as I pass by a dog it will get excited and feel the need to chase me. For that reason I become very alert and continue to be suspicious until I am at a considerable distance from them. Only when I am far away from them would I find small rest within myself.

2. Type of a dog

I am not intimidated by every dog. I find beagles to be very friendly. What troubles me a bit are the Chihuahuas. Those tiny dogs, especially when they are more than one, they are troublesome. I must admit that these dogs are the least of my problems. What I fear the most in the canine world is that stone and cold hearted beast referred to as pitbull. In my mind I classify this dog as a wild animal. It terrifies me more when I see it in the township being walked by a young boy who is obviously being pulled by the dog through a leash. If for any reason this pitbull decide to chase me, it will drag the boy on the ground until he gives up and let go of the leash and leave the dog to pursue me.

The type of the pitbull also adds to my fears. I read an article the other day on pitbulls. I learned that a pink nose pitbull is somewhat sociable as opposed to the aggressive and grumpy blue nose pitbull. When I am running I never get time to check the color of the nose, when I see a pitbull I become highly alert. This dog really gets under my skin.

3. The location

The fact that I get to see a pitbull in the township being walked by a young boy, tells me that this animal is not well trained. It could attack me and also attack this young boy. I am not saying all township people, who are usually black like myself, are incapable of training their dogs but evidence with the way they treat other breeds suggests that most of township people indeed are incapable of training their dogs.

Sometimes I get to wonder why exactly some people get to own dogs if they won’t look after them. I get concerned with pitbulls. There seems to be a rise in the number of pitbulls in my township alone. When I am doing my runs I would meet a group of young man walking with five or six pitbulls. Imagine me trying to get as far away possible from the dogs while trying to hide from the young men the fact that I am terrified.

4. Fences

Sometimes it is not the pitbulls on the road that bother me. I get intimidated by a pitbull which is within its owners yard. What sets off the alarm bells is the fence which keeps the animal way from me. There is one house I know where the fence shows clearly that it had suffered greatly from this insane animal. The owner has mended the fence in a very shabby fashion and such a fact does not reassure a passerby of any safety from the beast.

If anyone owns a dog in the township or anywhere else, it is wise to use a strong and high wall and to make sure that there is no way the dog would dig, squeeze or jump its way out. This should be done for the safety of the public and also for that of the beast. There are unstable people out there, who when attacked by this animal would simply pull out a gun and take it down without blinking.

My Greatest Wish

With fast rising numbers of pitbulls in my township belonging to irresponsible owners, I wish that the government would monitor the situation and remove the beasts from owners whose homes are not well fenced. Over and above that, owners should get paid licences in order for them to keep this breed. So to make it difficult for every Tom, Dick and Harry to own this dog, the permit should start from R10 000 per animal and restrict it to two animals at a time. Who ever would violate to this regulation, they should be jailed for at least 10 years depending on the number of pitbulls they illegally kept.

Should the pitbull bite or even kill a human being, it should be killed and the owner should be held liable for the medical expenses and the funeral expenses for the victim.

I know that I am just dreaming. Such a regulation can never come to pass in the present South Africa. Countless people, including children, would have to be killed by these beasts before anything be actually done by the government.

Contact Us

Join our WhatsApp Group, Like our Facebook page and Follow us on Twitter or email us