A Few Notes On Running
by Chris van der Leer on March 3rd, 2016

I have realised that running is a culmination of many aspects. There are 4 items that each need to be considered:

Aches and Pains
Novice runners will need to build the muscle strength through repetitive movements to allow their body to adjust to the experience. Aches and pains will happen as a part of this process, indeed there is a high chance that those new to the sport will encounter runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome). This is normal because your body has never experienced this before you will have to retrain your muscles by gently extending your limit each time.

Ensure that your running shoes support your arches, consider visiting a podiatrist to ensure that your feet are absorbing the impacts on each step. Failure to do this means that your entire body will canter out of synch and the knock on effect will ultimately lead to pains in other extremities of your body.

Physical Stamina
How far can you go? Remember that you are feeling your body straining you are doing it right. Sweating is a good thing, not only are you losing weight, you are also cleansing the body of toxins. Learn how to treat aches and pains as they happen in a physical and mental sense. Be aware of your body and don’t overdo it to the point of collapse, you only get one body which has only one set of knees by default.

Do be aware of you much sleep your body received and what diet you are feeding the animal. Does the animal have enough nutrients to perform the activities you are tasking it with?

Breathing is the most critical thing our bodies do and yet we take the exercise of expanding and contracting the lungs completely for granted. Listen to your breathing as you run. Breathe through both your nose and your mouth, if possible. Ragged gasping for air is a sign that you are pushing too hard. Your lungs need to absorb air to create oxygenated blood to power the ‘machine’. Learn to identify how your body copes and focus on bringing your breathing under control while you are pounding the road.

It helps to take a few deep breaths before you start running and to do the same thing in the mornings and in the evenings. Swimming also helps breathing and has the added caveat of encouraging core strength.

Mental Stamina
Goals are important, but willpower is even more so. Lose the excuses. Racking up mileage in all weathers over an extended period of time is a challenge for everyone, therefore it makes logical sense to align your exercise regime into your daily lifestyle as much as possible. Do more walking to the store, walk in your lunch hour etc. Get your body moving! Keep your eyes on the prize and push through. This sounds really corny but there is simply no other way to enforce mental discipline on yourself.

​This article was written by Chris van der Leer. It is licensed under CC BY 2.0. This means that you are free to license and adapt the contents of this article by giving credit to the original author.

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