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:
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.
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!!
mystery to some, a hobby to some, a career to some and a lifestyle to a select
few. It looks easy from the sidelines. And you think to yourself, “I can do
this.” Now as a result of this epiphany you go to a sporting department in your
nearest shopping center and you get yourself a nice pair of running shoes,
sweatpants, a vest, tights, shorts, a hat, sunglasses, binoculars (even though you have no idea why),
a smart watch, a rehydration pack and a pair of wireless Bluetooth headsets.
You are about cash out and then you see a sporting magazine with a cover image
of a man and a woman running, without hesitation you grab it and throw into your
already full shopping cart.
Back at home,
you start unpacking your goodies and jump into your newly purchased running
gear. Your mirror agrees. You look fantastic. You look like a real runner. You
already see your neighbors in your mind envying your gear. They are so going to
be jealous of your binoculars. Even more, they will be mad when they see you
win the Comrades Marathon down in South Africa. And you are planning to enter
and win it.
You are now
ready to get into the road and test drive your running shoes. Man! They feel so
good on the foot. Your phone is fully charged, the playlist is ready, your
smartwatch is on your wrist and the Bluetooth earplugs are in position and
paired to your phone. You are set to go. Nothing, I mean nothing at all is
going to keep you from running at least 5 km. Those marathon runners won’t see
you coming and they won’t see you going. You walk out the gate and then you
start the clock on your smartwatch. You start the music and it is an impeccable
selection. Perfect for this occasion.
Like a bullet, off you go. If only they could see you now. This feels right. If feels good. The clock reads one minute. The body is heating up now. You notice that you are breathing heavily now. Wait! What is going on? This is not right! The chest feels like a small plastic bag. It feels like it is taking in very little oxygen and then throws the rest out. The clock only says 3 minutes and you have barely ran 500 meters. You think to yourself, “Is this a joke? Wait! Am I dying?” You start feeling pain on your thighs and your knees are getting tired. Five minutes in, you decide to call it quits. You then bow with your hands on your knees until you breathing is recovered. With a crushed ego, a paining body and a destabilized chest you think to yourself, “I should quit eating McDonald’s.”
to a lot of people. I have personally experienced it. This caused me to hate
running. I avoided it at all costs. One day, after seven years (give or take),
I decided to try again but this time I was not in the hurry. I figured that if
I start slow and with shorter distances, eventually, my body will get used to
the idea of running and then be able to run longer and perhaps faster.
If you are
afraid to start running or you have no idea how to start, this is your lucky
day. I am going to give you tips on how to shake off that fear of running and
get started. It doesn’t matter how old you are. As long as your legs are
working and the doctor allows it, you can get started. So go ahead and gather
your friends and family and I will teach you how to “Run Yourself Crazee.”
to be something you want. If it is imposed upon you, you won’t get very far.
You need to have something that will serve as an anchor and keep you motivated
while you commit to running. I have to lay it before you from the start.
Running is not as easy as it looks. You need incredible amounts of
I decided to start running because I wanted to
lose weight. I knew that losing weight would not come by easily. So, knowing my
competitive nature, I opted to train for that Marathon which I was not going to
enter anyway. With the help of Nike Running Club, (an app that tracks my
running and stores my running data) I was able to set up a training plan. All I
had to do is follow the plan and never think about losing weight ever. The
improvement in my running speeds and my endurance are the motivation factors. I
am not just running. I am racing myself. Each time I run, I always to seek to
beat my younger self on a given distance. I didn’t have to win by minutes. I
only needed a second or two.
Let’s face it I am older today than yesterday. If I ran 5 km in 30 minutes yesterday and today I run it in 31 minutes, then it means the kid beat me and I won’t have it. I will run until I beat the kid. I will never be satisfied until I beat my younger self. Consequently, I am also running to defend my title against the old man, that is to say, against the future me. Can you see now how important it is for me to run? If I lose against the kid, it’s a shame. If I lose to the old man it is also a shame. So I have to beat the kid and then make it hard for the old man to win.
You need to
find a way for yourself to stay motivated. The hardest part of any run, is to
get into the starting line. Once you start running it is the matter of
finishing that run. If you can’t motivate yourself, you will end up avoiding
the starting line altogether. You need to find something that will push or drag
you into the starting line.
feel the tingling on the top muscles of my thighs and like a junky in need of a
fix, I start thinking about running. The body calls for it. This does not happen
all the time but it does happen to me.
Once you get
yourself into running, you’ll find that it is both painful and enjoyable at the
same time. I really don’t know how to properly explain it. When I don’t run I
feel like I am missing out. When I am running I sometimes feel great and
sometimes I feel like I am going to die. It is always encouraging to have
someone to run with you, especially, if it is someone close your heart like
your spouse (…if you are married.)
takes to get you motivated to run, (…as long as it is not smoking weed, taking
drugs and becoming a Jehovah’s Witness) do it.
KEEP YOUR MIND IN THE RUN
this is not a mind over matter session. While the Buddhist monks will tell you
to empty your mind, I will personally discourage you from doing that during a
running session. When you run, you need 100% of your mind to be alert and
focused on that run. If you don’t pay attention to the run you are bound to
make a lot of mistakes and probably injure yourself.
Let’s face it
running is not easy. The self-motivation we talked about earlier, is not only
needed when you want to start running. It is needed during the run and more of
it is needed as you approach the finish line. If I had told you to empty your
mind, you will probably not make it to the desired finish line.
requires all of your mind to be focused. This means you have to plan your run
before you even get to the starting line. You need to establish: What distance are
you going to run? Where are you going to run? Is it on the road or on the
track? How much time are you planning to spend doing this run? You need to keep
these in mind as you run. Which brings us back to my point. You can’t run with
an empty mind.
The reason I say you need to know how far you are going to run on a given run is that, each run is different. The way I would do a 5 km run will never be the same as the way I would do a 42 km run. With a long run, I spend much time running slow and then gradually increase the pace, easing in onto a steady comfortable pace which I may hold for the most part of the run.
When I do a
5km run, I start with a slower pace on the first kilometer and then I raise the
pace and hold it for three kilometers but that is subject to where I am
running. For the final kilometer I labour to either finish very strong and fast
or just slow down by way of cooling down. This is determined by how my body
feels. Sometimes, previous runs may affect the way I would run the next
It is very
important to be cognizant of the route you are going to run. You need to know
how many “up hills” you are going to face, how many “down hills,” and how many “flat
roads” you are going to meet. In that way you will be able to use your energy efficiently
and get to enjoy your running sessions a bit more.
sound like an oxymoron. Believe me, you can rest while you are running. Maybe
the word “rest” is less appropriate. Let me put it this way, you can “recover”
while you are running. More often when I am running uphill, I use a lot of
energy and I get tired but when I get to the top I don’t stop running, I run
slower for a minute or two recovering my breathing and my strength and then
pick up the pace again.
It is important to listen to your body when running. Keeping your mind in the run also means to be aware of how your body feels at all times. When running a long distance your body will tell you when to back up a little. You should not get tired at the first 5k while you are in a 20k running session. If you get tired quickly it means you are running too fast and burning a lot of energy. Always pay attention to your body. As you run, focus your mind on your feet and legs, feel them and move up throughout your body. Be cognizant of your arm movements, your breathing and all of your body. You should always feel like you can run the whole distance which you have planned.
Refuel and Rehydrate
It is important that you get hydrated. You should drink lots of water before running and it is wise to carry on you a re-hydration system when doing distances longer than 10 km. Your re-hydration pack should consist of water and mineral drinks. Sometimes you may need to carry salt tablets. Many people are not aware of that when one is running they don’t just lose water but they also lose salt, minerals and electrolytes. All these things must be replaced during and after a run.
the running session it is important to eat food. If you don’t eat, you may find
it hard to gain energy to do your every duties. I remember in 2018, when I got
serious about running, I use to fall asleep in class. One of my running friends
said to me, “You should eat.” He told me that I need to refuel my body. Give
your energy through the food you eat. Eat foods which are rich in protein and
carbohydrates. Some people believe that carbohydrates will make you fat. I am
not a doctor but I know that my body needs carbohydrates in order to manage a
Try eating a
banana about 30 minutes before running and also during a run. It is an amazing
source of energy. I have proven it in my own runs. A banana is rich in carbohydrates
and other things the body needs to stay fit in the course of the whole run.
USE THE RIGHT GEAR
important to use the right gear when running. When I say the right gear I am
referring to any sporting gear that is comfortable for you. This mean, what you
are wearing must not get in the way and keep you from running effectively. When
I a running with a backpack for an example, I never choose a backpack that
doesn’t have a way for me to strap it on my belly to ensure that doesn’t
violently sway sideways and throw off my balance while I am running. A loose backpack
can make you running ridiculously slow and will have you use a lot of energy
than you would have if it was strapped to your body.
comfortable shoes when running. Make sure that your running shoes fit well and
they are not hurting your toes, particularly your big toe. If your running
shoes are too tight, they will cause your running session to be very
uncomfortable and you might end up hurting your feet very badly. Your running shoes
must allow blood to flow through your feet while you are running. Yes, your feet
need to stay oxygenated throughout the run. Eliminate anything which will cause
your body not to perform well in any given run.
started running I only understood that a cap is for keeping the sun away from
your face. When I got into running, my perception with regards the purpose of
the cap changed. At first I ran without a cap and I would have trouble keeping
the sweat away from my eyes. One day on the sunny afternoon, I ran with my cap
on, so that I can keep the sun from hitting my face. I noticed that my sweat
was not streaming down my face. It got trapped on the sweatband which is fitted
on the inside of the cap. The sweat will then flow over the visor and drop off
away from my face and eyes.
GPS Tracking Devices
I always run with my phone strapped to my arm. I do this for two purposes. First, to gain access to my impeccable playlist of my running music. Secondly, I bring my phone so that I can track myself while running and also get feedback from the Nike Running Club app regarding the distance, time and pace I am currently doing on a given running session. This helps to compare runs which are done of the same route for the same distance. I can know if I have broken my initial record time on each route and this give a good picture if need to improve my performance. Some people prefer to use smart watches instead of a smartphone to do the tracking for them.
We are launching a new podcast on 9 September 2019 to 14 October 20194th of November 2019. New episode will be released every Monday. We will be testing the waters. If all goes well, Run Yourself Crazy podcast will published for 52 weeks.
Track your runs with this Fitness Tracker. It will help you know how far and how long you have gone and on top of that, it will give you feedback on how your heart is performing. Get it now from Amazon!!! When you buy from Amazon.com by clicking the images below, you will be supporting us because we would get a little commission to help keep the show going. Thank you in advance for helping us!!!