Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Running For Fun

If you're like me, then you need a T-Rex in prompt pursuit for adequate running motivation. I've never been a runner and I wasn't until this past summer. However with a little help from some easy to find resources I ran my first 5K a couple weeks ago. And I did it without killing myself, without injuring myself, and I had a lot of fun. So here are some tips to becoming a runner.

1) The Benefits

Exercise in general is a great de-stresser. It allows your mind to focus on something else. Usually with increased exercise comes increased concentration throughout the day. Also, it is a great hobby unrelated to school. 

2) Have Fun

Running can be fun and the moment running stops being fun you should stop. What I enjoy about running is being able to get outside, enjoy the air, and clear my mind from everyday stresses. And I believe running can be fun for everyone if you give it a chance. A great way to have more fun is to run with a friend. Especially someone who is just starting out with you, running once a week can keep you motivated. 

3) Getting Stared

An 8 week running program is a great way to get stared if you cannot run continuously for 30 minutes. 

Take a day of rest in between running days do give your body time to build muscle and acclimate. Pushing yourself too much too fast can cause physical injury. So take your time and have fun. Granted if you have an extremely busy day and don't have time to do a full workout, running for ten minutes is better than not running at all. The best part about starting to run is finding what works for you. Explore different places to run and different times of the day. Find what works for you.

Week 1: Run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute repeat 8 times

Week 2: Run for 2 minutes and walk for 1 minute repeat 7 times
Week 3: Run for 4 minutes and walk for 1 minute repeat 6 times
Week 4: Run for 6 minutes and walk for 2 minutes repeat 4 times
Week 5: Run for 9 minutes and walk for 2 minutes repeat 3 times
Week 6: Run for 12 minutes and walk for 1 minute repeat 3 times
Week 7: Run for 15 minutes and walk for 1 minute repeat 2 times
Week 8: Run for 30 minutes continuously!

To help strengthen the muscles in your legs you can do this quick six minute workout.

45 seconds of lunges 15 seconds of rest
45 seconds of squats 15 seconds of rest
45 seconds of calf raisers 15 seconds of rest (Calf raisers are where you stand on the edge of a stair with your heals hanging over the edge and and push your body up and down. Use the stair rail for balance.)

4) Avoiding Injury

Like I said pushing yourself too much too fast can cause common injuries in knees and ankles. Make sure to stretch out thoroughly after working out when your muscles are warm. If you are having sever pain while running stop immediately and take a few days of rest. A common injury that I've had to deal with is shin splints. Shin splints are caused when the muscles in your calves are so tense they pull away from the bone and as a result the bone forms tiny micro fractures. If you have shin splints do 6 weeks of low impact exercise like the elliptical, biking, or weight training. Then when you start to run put ice on your shins for 15 minutes (no more), followed by heat for 15 minutes and then followed by thorough stretching. Do this twice a day. For any other tender or painful areas follow this same ice and heat routine. Massaging your tense muscles can avoid injury as well. 

5) Resources

Fun places to run around New York

Running smartphone apps

Gym memberships

Ludlow Fitness (across a street) $399 for a year, they also have an 8 month membership for less.

Synergy Gym (131 East 31st Street or check their website for more locations)  is $380 for a year through the SVA discount provided by VASA. Synergy is 24 hours Monday-Friday.

 Run or Dye:

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