Our bodies are incredible machines. They can do stuff we never thought they can. With enough training they can survive the toughest tests life is determined to throw at them. When introduced to the small doses of certain viruses, our bodies are able to form antibodies that can fought off the intruders and also keep memory of them in case they attack again. Our bodies are machines that have learn capabilities and can be train to do many things within the limits of their physical design.
I say they can do many things within the limits of their physical design because we obviously do not our expect our bodies to fly like the birds do. Our physical design does not permit flight. We cannot flap our limbs and fly. we cannot breathe under water like fish do. We do not have physical organs to permit such an enterprise. We do not have mean to climb the walls like spiders and lizards. We cannot efficiently crawl on our bellies like snakes and we cannot gracefully float on water like swans. All these things we cannot do because they are beyond the limits of our physical design.
Having stated what we cannot do, I will move on to deal with what we can do. I will discuss what we can do and what we can improve upon. My aim is that is for us to learn to challenge and push our bodies their lawful limits and try to keep the doctor away in this age many illnesses.
WHAT OUR BODIES CAN DO
We often undermine our bodies and think that they can only perform up to a certain degree which we have prescribed in our minds. What many people do not know is that our bodies are very strong. They have an ability to adapt on order to survive. I have learned that when one is running for his life, he can scale a fence he wouldn’t be able to scale under normal circumstances. They can go through a small opening as though it was a wide open door. At that temporary state of survival our bodies are able to shut down the pain receptors to allow the body to find safety, after which pain will be allowed and let the body give status report on things that needs to be attended to after a given ordeal.
Our Bodies Can Walk
One of the obvious reason is that an average person can work. We can walk short distances and we can walk long distance. We can walk wearing shoes and we can walk on bare feet. We can walk slow and we can walk fast. We can willfully add style on our walk. We can walk and bounce at the same time. We can walk with a straight back and chin up. We can leaning forward, swing our arms or cross our arms behind our backs. What gives such confidence in walking to such an extent that we add some style to make our walk interesting is due to the fact that we have been walking since we were toddlers. Walking is part of us. It has been embed into our existence in such a way that we don’t even think about walking when we walk. We just do it.
Our Bodies Can Run
Just like walking, our bodies can run. Running is an upgraded form of walking. It requires more energy and oxygen to maintain. That is why when we run we breathe heavily and our heart rate increases. For someone who is not used to running, they will get tired quickly and feel some pain in the body after a very short distance. That is why many people make excuses when invited to run. Running terrifies them.
We need to understand that our bodies learn and improve in performance when force to do the same thing over and over again. That is action is called, “practice.” When we practice or train, we are actually teaching our bodies to get better at a given task. You will feel the pain in a short distance but if you repeat the same distance and add a few meters over it, you will find that your body will adapt. It will shape itself to withstand the new challenges posed to itself and thus become stronger and fitter.
My Exhortation to you at this is, go and try something and see if your body can manage. REMEMBER!! Safety first.
Every long journey has its own challenges. When one embarks on such a journey they need to prepare themselves for anything. The journey can be successfully completed if there is adequate preparation and a clear purpose for getting into the journey at the first place. Such is the case with podcasting and running. They are a long journey for me.
Since I am both a podcaster and a runner, I look at both of theses activities in the same way. They both require a clear goal and vast amounts of endurance. One needs to be able plan every move they will make and have backup plans and backups of backup plans should anything go wrong.
We have gone past the seventh episode. As I mentioned in the past episode that some statistics say, a number of podcast shows that fail, happen to fail just before they reach the seventh episode. I am quite thrilled that Run Yourself Crazy has gone past the “podcast graveyard zone.”
Have a clear picture of where you would run
It is important to have a good idea how your run will look like. Decide on where you will run before you even get into the run. You may want to consider the distance you will be running and the type of run you will actually do. Prepare yourself mentally and accept the route in your mind first.
For long runs be sure to carry a water-bottle or a re-hydration backpack. Also have a bottle of water waiting for you when you return from your running session.
Set your self milestones to help manage the run
Milestones are those little targets into which you break the run. They could be distance based, time based or location based. I often use time and distance based milestones. For an example, I break my runs into 3 parts: Warm up, Pace up and hold, and finish or cool down.
Get out and Run
When you have finished planning and preparing for your run, get out there and do us proud. Follow the route you have chosen and keep those milestones into mind. Upon each milestone pay attention to how your body feels. Do you feel like quitting or you feel like you’ve got a lot of fight raging inside you? This will help you to effectively compare that current run with future runs which you will do on the same route.
At the end of the run, it is important to review your run. How far did you go? How long did it take you to complete the run? How does your body feel like after the run? Did you make it through all the milestones? How was your body feeling at each milestone? This will give you a good idea as to where you may need to improve.
The festive season is upon us and the whole world is going insane. Businesses are raking in millions and people are spending like crazy. Families are travelling to holiday sites abroad. While this happens some will be compromising on their fitness activity. Today’s episode, Lungisa is unplugged and he is giving his own view on the matter of fitness and holiday season.
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.
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.
Running is a very interesting activity. Everybody does it. When I say everybody does it, I do not mean every human being but I mean every legged creature I know. In most cases creatures in this world run out of necessity. They are compelled by the need for survival.
A typical example is a lion and a gazelle. A lion would run in pursuit of a gazelle in order to have a meal and evade death by starvation. While from a gazelle’s point of view the purpose of running is also for survival, however, the logistics of it entails not becoming food for the lion.
I also run for life. The purpose of my running activity is to get fit and lose a bit of weight. I believe I have a better chance of surviving a number of threats than someone who is physically in active. So when I am on the road or the racing track at the sports ground, I literally run for my life
Listen to today’s episode to gain more insight.
I appeal to everyone who is physically inactive and unfit, to get started with running or with any form of physical activity. It is a good thing to do. Encourage your kids to be physically active. Train your body and build its endurance. You will thank yourself later.
What a brilliant start for this fantastic show. #RunYourselfCrazee has received a warm welcome from most people. I will commit to producing the most useful and quality content for all our subscribers.
After briefly discussing how to start running last week, I thought it best to give you more information about running. Today, I will share with you different types of running. These types of runs are those you need to do when you are either training for a marathon or if you want to be able run faster and to build your’s body’s endurance. I am going to speak about 7 types of running sessions you may consider to do.
1 BASE RUN
This is a run done at a conversational pace. This means this run can be done while having a conversation with another person. If you are doing this run and you are uttering broken sentences or you find yourself gaping for air, it means you are running too fast. When you are doing this run you need to be able to breath easily and be able to talk while running. You should enjoy this easy run.
2 PROGRESSIVE RUN
A progressive run is a run that starts at a conversational pace and then gradually rise to a hardest pace. I usually do this type of running when I am doing long runs like 10k to a half marathon or when I am doing time based training of over an hour long which are classified as longer runs. The progressive run works best if you divide the running session into equal parts, however many they are. I prefer to divide my running session into three parts.
The Warm Up
The first section of the run will be the warm up. This is when I am introducing my body into the running session and also assist my mind to be in the run. Remember last week I emphasize that when running, one should keep their mind in the run and that you can’t run with an empty mind. An easy pace will do well to get the body warmed up while on the go.
Now when the body has finally gotten warm, it is time to raise the pace from conversational to a slightly faster yet comfortable pace. It is good to hold on to that pace or else when you get into the middle of this section, raise the pace slightly. The main idea here is to not get slower. One must hold the pace or get faster.
Going for the kill
In this section, the pace raised until the runner cannot comfortably have a complete conversation. This is the moment where you giving it all your best. No slowing down, no looking back and giving up. This section is a “now or never” moment. It is time to go for a kill. You are getting stronger each mile or kilometer that passes. When you reach the finish lines, you must be at your best pace. Your final kilometer or mile must be registered as the fastest.
3 FARTLEK RUN
A fartlek is a speed game. The word “fartlek” is Swedish and it means speed plays. In a fartlek, you start by warming up. You do an easy pace, or a conversational pace. When you’ve warmed up, pick a land mark. The land mark could be anything, a tree, a lamp post, a pothole, a rock or whatever…
Jog easily to that landmark and when you have reached it pick another landmark in front of you and speed to it and then back down to the conversational pace. Through out this run keep choosing landmarks and speed to them, and then slow down. Repeat as many times as you wish. This is another version of interval sessions.
4 INTERVAL RUN
I sometimes refer to interval runs as “speed reps.” That is the name I got from the Nike Running Club App. This type of running session, involves warming up, and then run at a given pace for 200m, or 400m, 800m, or even 1200m depending on your training and your level of fitness. You then rest for about 90s to about 150s and start again. The Nike Running Club App which I am using to track my running activity and also get automated coaching will tell me how many reps I need to do. Both the interval runs and the fartleks are meant train your body to run faster. They are a form of speed training.
5 TEMPO RUN
A tempo run, also known as a threshold run is a more challenging running session. It requires a faster and continuous effort. It is best achieved when done on flat roads or on the running track. Since it requires a continuous effort it will be more challenging if one chooses to run onto a hill. The pace will be lowered and thus defeating the very purpose of the run. The pace in the run should be keep steady with very minimum variation. This training session is meant to allow your body to run faster for longer.
The Hill repeats are another form of speed training session. This is when you run uphill as fast as you can for about 30s and then jog slowly or walk down hill by way of recovering. And repeat the process. Do this as many times as you wish.
7 LONG RUN
A long run is any running session that last for an hour or longer. At first it is best to do a time based long run, rather than a distance based. If you aim to run for an hour you will be able to learn how much distance you can do within that hour and the distance you would cover in your first time based long run, would be your long running distance. You can gradually increase your long running distance over the weeks. Take caution that your long running sessions do not exceed 3 hours. Running for more than 3 hours will cause more harm than good.
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.