How to prepare for the ‘long run’
Achieving the governments guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week is not always easy. We all lead busy hectic lives and we can struggle to fit exercise into our daily routine. Don’t be put off by the huge amount of recommended minutes, it will take time to build yourself up to that level. But fear not, you can get there, it will take some perseverance but with that extra exercise in your life you will start to feel more energetic, happier, add years to your life and you may, just maybe start to enjoy it! I have outlined some general advice to help you get going, stick at it longer, avoid injury and to see the benefits quicker.
Run, Walk, Run
Running is not easy, it takes time to build up to 30minutes. Combine walking with running to build up your fitness and stronger legs gradually to avoid injury. It can take about 8 weeks to go from 1-minute running intervals to running 30 minutes non-stop. There are many great websites and apps to help you with this but be careful as they don’t all cater for specific individual needs.
Running itself will strengthen the lower body, but your upper body will see little development. These muscles should not be neglected by runners as they help keep an upright posture, better running technique and will help breathing. There are many exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home without any specialist gym equipment. For example, crunches and press ups on knees.
Warm Up Better
A thorough warm up prepares your legs, heart and lungs for the rigours of running yet many runners will skip this step entirely. Try to spend 5-10minutes easing into the run. This could include walking around your home or around the block for a few minutes then alternate between walking and a slow ‘shuffle’ for a few more minutes.
Reflect and Relax
Don’t just run. Think about your run before and after. Try to visualise how you want your run to go. Spending a few minutes to do this can help calm and relax your mind before helping to motivate yourself for a good workout. Post run, spend a few minutes to evaluate how your run went, focus on the positives to help you stay motivated for next time. Remember not every run is going to be perfect, so go easy on yourself.
Getting those trainers on for exercise is not always easy and it takes time to build up your fitness and strength. But if you take the time, don’t expect immediate results you will be able to stick at it longer and hopefully for the long term. You will be able to gain long term benefits rather than a quick fix short term solution.
Let me know how you get on, for more help and support do get in touch!
AC Running and Fitness