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King Of Cardio
Running as Exercise
Member Name: Nicky230587
Running as Exercise
Date: 19/07/10, updated on 22/07/10 (42 review reads)
Advantages: good way to keep fit, free!
Disadvantages: slightly hard to keep motivated during the winter months
I began running about 3 years ago and I absolutely love it! For me it is the best form of exercise and is the only thing that keeps me really hooked. I don't know about you, but I find going to the gym and running on a treadmill really boring, not to mention expensive. I love the fact that I can get some fresh air, have some time to myself and make every run different.
To get started all you need is a good pair of running trainers. I would recommend going to a running shop which tests the way you run in order to find the perfect shoe for you. This will be based on what type of running you do, the shape of your feet (normal, low arch, high arch) and your gait (overpronator, supinator, neutral). The three main types of shoe are stability, cushioned and motion control. When I first began running, I wasn't aware of how important this was and just went to a sports shop to buy a pair of trainers. Big mistake, my simple running trainers had a sole which curved upwards at the heel. I managed to get a really bad ankle injury three weeks before my first 5k race and learned from my local running shop that my trainers were the culprit! So take it from me, invest in a good pair of shoes and try to find a running shop which offers this service (try sweatshop, he runs she runs, runners needs). I have Asics trainers at the moment and they are absolutely great.
When you have your trainers (and a good sport bra for the ladies, try shock absorbers), you are ready to go! When you first start off, take things steady and try not to get impatient, you'll be amazed at how quick your stamina will build up. You can set yourself new targets and try different routes to keep your motivation going. That's another thing I love about running outside, as you can run to different places and keep it interesting for yourself, I simply hate running on the spot which is all a treadmill can offer.
Before you go running, I would recommend not eating or drinking just before you go out as you will be uncomfortable and you will probably get the dreaded stitch. I like to have a protein bar or a banana about 1 hour before my run to keep my energy levels up. Also remember to re-hydrate yourself after your run.
To warm up before my run, I normally walk for five minutes. I read in Runner's World magazine that you shouldn't stretch before a run, but that is still debatable. Studies have shown that stretching 'cold' muscles (before any exercise) can cause more injuries than they prevent. After your run, it is best to wait about 30 minutes before stretching to cool down, as the sudden difference in muscle movements can cause a shock and may lead to injury. Again, after my run I like to walk for the remaining five minutes to cool down gradually, rather than running and finishing with a sudden stop.
Some people may prefer running in pairs or groups to keep momentum going, however, I much prefer to run by myself, try both and see what works for you. Running by myself means that I can set my own pace, route and get a bit of 'me' time in the process. Whenever I come back from a run I always feel so chilled out and happy, I find it so very therapeutic. I always have to run with my ipod, I don't I could run without it actually. I think it's the best thing to keep you motivated. Whenever my favourite song plays, I get this sudden burst of energy that keeps me going for longer, trust me you should try it!
I love to run first thing in the morning, there is nothing like it to wake you up! It is also really quiet and chilled out without a lot of traffic around (handy if you have a lot of main roads about). Other than that, I love to run in the rain!! I know it may sound horrible and that it would be the worst sort of weather to go out for a run in, but it is sooo refreshing and lovely.
I also like to keep track of how far I've run and in what time, seeing your improvements is a real boost! You can get watches for that, but I find them so expensive. A cheaper form is to time your run and then track your route when you return on www.imapmyrun.co.uk. If you have an iphone, you can also download the RunKeeper app for free, which will track your run as you go.
As you can probably tell from my review, I love to run! It makes you feel fantastic and is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, not to mention completely free! It will tone your legs, bum, abdominals and arms. I don't know about you, but I love that burn the next day!! I always try to have a rest day the day after to allow my muscles to fully recover as I just find that this works for me. Most importantly though, enjoy it! Enjoy getting fit, enjoy the outdoors and enjoy a bit of 'you' time!
Summary: Exercise without the hefty gym membership