The Benefits of Running
With this year’s London Marathon coming up on 21st April we thought we’d share a bit of our worldly wisdom about the highs and lows of running. Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or just want to give it a go and try and find your runners’ legs we hope this will give you the motivation you need to keep going.
What are the benefits of running?
Running burns more calories per minute than just about every other exercise making it the perfect exercise for those trying to shed a few pounds. Studies have shown that, in addition to burning all those calories, running can help keep your heart healthy and prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and even cancer.
That said it’s not just the physical benefits that keep so many people running for the hills. Running, as with other forms of exercise, will increase those mood-enhancing endorphins that give you the feel good factor. This coupled with the fact that you’re out in the fresh air, getting some ‘you time’, at one with the environment, can result in the infamous ‘runner’s high’ that gets so many people hooked.
How to get started?
One of the great things about running is that it’s accessible and almost anyone can do it. All you need is a pair of trainers and you’re good to go. You don’t need special skills, expensive kit or athletic ability. What’s more is that it doesn’t cost you anything and is right on your door step, you can run anywhere it’s safe to walk.
The important thing is that you start slowly to build up your stamina and resistance. We’d recommend you start with walking and then build up your speed and distance gradually. Try going out for a walk 2-3 times a week. Begin to mix walking and running until you can run 2 miles without stopping, by this time, maybe 4-6 weeks in, you will know if running is for you. If it is for you then why not sign up for a 5k race to give you some added motivation to go the extra mile?
Remember to take your time and learn at your pace. The more your run the more you will enjoy running so don’t be put off if it seems like hard work to start with – the benefits will far outweigh everything else if you can just give it time.
Don’t want to do it alone?
Joining a running club can help give you that extra motivation you need, especially when you’re just starting out. Running clubs tend to meet at least once a week so joining a club will also help you get into a routine with your running. A club will also provide you with a safe environment and the opportunity to meet people with similar interests.
If you’re not sure where to find a running club then speak to a personal trainer at your local gym. Most running clubs are led by a personal trainer who can often give you additional coaching tips and advice on how to incorporate running into you training.
Preparing for a marathon?
Running a marathon is an incredible goal but certainly not something to be taken lightly. It takes a lot of preparation, especially if you’ve never done any type of endurance event before. We’d recommend that you build up a mileage of 15 miles a week, running 3-4 days a week to start with. Also it would be worthwhile trying a shorter distance race first such as a 5k, 10k or half marathon so you’ve got some race experience and you know what to expect. If you do decide to go for the marathon then make sure you have a medical check up first and ask your personal trainer to help plan your training programme.