Friday is the day to unwind, to relax, to get ready to cook and eat your favourite foods and of course, to get in a bit of exercise into your weekly schedule (specially for those who leave everything for the weekend).
Running, well, does it come naturally to humans? Perhaps, the answer would be a ‘Yes’. When in danger, we run, when having fun with friends, we run too! Remember, ‘pakdan-pakdai‘, ‘seven stones’, ‘kho-kho’ and several other childhood games, we grew up with? They all involved running in various permutations and combinations. So, maybe, our body is conditioned to run but then as we grow older, we decide to befriend the couch a little bit more and the running kind of fades away. Do you agree?
Well, I did join a running group a while back. People, who would know me would remember the fact, that I never, ever participated in any sort of sport, even remotely related to running in school, but this somehow was different! I joined a running group and managed to complete a 5k! (the time I did it in isn’t important!). So, without further ado, I present to you, the programme that got me running again was ‘The Zero to 5K programme’, which promises to get you off your sofa and get you to do a 5k race. Even for someone like me, it wasn’t too bad!
Now, that you are all excited about taking up running, let’s have a brief chat about getting the ‘right fitting shoe for running‘ to avoid injuries. It’s an exact science, so read up, future runners. According to a responsible running website, you should choose a shoe that feels comfortable. In fact, there is a quiz that you can take, to determine the best fitting shoe for you. They also state that the underlying cause of almost all overuse injuries is essentially the fact, that runners try to do ‘too much, too soon’. So, remember, to stay injury-free and take it slowly and carefully!
To identify your foot shape, I am told by some expert runners, that you need to wet your feet and step onto a sheet of paper, and the pattern you see is the picture of your foot that the diagram below is referring to:
Now, that the schedule for your running programme is sorted and you have treated yourself to a pair of good-fitting shoes, it’s time to take note of some top-tips before you dive into this ‘unknown’ arena:
- Invest in a good pair of running shoes (which we have already discussed above!) – It obviously is very important! If uncomfortable, obviously the hard act of running will become even harder! A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 500 – 600 miles. If you plan on running long distances, consider buying a pair a half-size bigger than your normal shoe size, as your feet will swell and flatten out over time.
- Find a running partner – Find a friend, a running club! Believe me it helps you to go that ‘extra mile’, literally! when your body refuses to budge! I have been there, it does help.
- Set a goal – In other words, when you are following the training program, please stick to the program.
- If you like music, get your ear-phones out and enjoy the music you’ve not found time to hear as you get fitter with every step.
Well done to you! You are officially a runner now (well, it’s all in the mind, isn’t it?)…Now, all you have to do is print this on your t-shirt and zoom off!
The fact remains that running isn’t for everyone. There are lots of people out there who vouch for it but others who will tell you that running isn’t kind to your knees! Well, maybe, they do have a point. Go and give it a try, don’t accept anyone’s word for it…Who knows? This could be the best thing that ever happens to you! Oh yes, please do remember to take this quiz, to determine the best fitting shoe for you, before you go shopping for your running shoes! and look at this list for some of the running clubs in India, that might come in handy, to help you find your running partner! If you happen to be in the UK, or visiting around Cambridge or Peterborough, do consider Advance Performance. They do a gait analysis for you to find the best show for you based on how you place your foot while running and its shape. In Delhi, Back to Health Clinic, offers Gait Analysis and could recommend Orthotics (devices worn in your shoes that give correction to your feet, helping them to work more efficiently) for your shoes.
And remember, however slow you run, you are still doing better than the ones lying on the sofa! Congratulations to you and now, I need to get my act together and get back to running or perhaps walking…Well, we’ll discuss this another day! In the mean time, get jogging!
Cover Image: via