The best part about running as a recreational sport is that it is inclusive. That probably explains its popularity the world over. Anybody can run, it’s that simple. And the more runners I meet, I realise how therapeutic it is and how it forces you to take note of yourself. For me, it was as if I connected with myself for the first time when I started running. Even pregnancy had failed to do that for me. However, nowadays it also comes with a lot of noise and commotion. There is pressure of what races are you signing up for, your finish time, how much you are running in a week etc. It feels good initially as a new runner but slowly the pressure builds up. Of course, it’s great if you want to improve continuously and important to strength train to remain injury free but it’s not ok to constantly compare yourself with others. Continue Reading
This article has ben written by me and first published on The Hindu on 15th May 2017.
What to avoid, how to pace yourself and when to simply push on
When you first start running it’s quite like falling in love. With yourself. You discover a little more about yourself on each run: “I can’t believe I ran five kilometres without a single break!”, “I never thought I could be so strong!” You might discover that you enjoy running on your own, either just being with yourself or the state of zero that you go into when the rhythm of the run takes over. There are many reasons to get addicted to running. And enough studies have proven that running can be one of the most addictive sports. Continue Reading
‘Fast’ is a relative word when it comes to amateur long distance running or probably everything else in life. I did my first half marathon in 2010 in 2:55! And the next one in 2:28, before I had to take a break for 2 years. But I came back stronger; my timings have only been improving in the last two years, from 2:09 at ADHM in 2013, 2:03 in 2014 to 1:50 in 2015. I have been getting better even though I’m running lesser, way lesser than I used to. I was thinking of certain things that I did differently (accidentally) to improve and it’s only fair that I share it on my blog –
1) I have accepted that with the kind of erratic work schedule, I probably can’t follow a routine. Earlier I would miss out on my workout if I missed out on a certain fixed time I had decided for it. Now I fit in a work out whenever I get time through the day. It could mean doing the planks in the morning post dropping my son to school and doing the calf raises in the afternoon when taking a 10 minute break from work.
2) For the last six months, I have been doing (or try) 3 reps of planks (45 seconds each) 4 days a week.
3) I spend 10 minutes on doing basic weight training for upper body 3 times a week.
4) I have been doing calf strengthening and sitting squats whenever I can (3 times a week). Click here to see the videos. I will be adding more.
5) Once a week I run 5 kms as fast as I can. I never time myself as I don’t want it to stress me out.
6) I concentrated on improving my timing for 10 kms rather than for long runs.
7) I get massage done for my legs once a week. But I don’t do the fancy ones as I find them too expensive. A simple massage by a girl who comes home and does it, works for me.
8) I consume one gel before the start and one during the half marathon.
9) I was lucky to have figured the shoes which suit me the best. Boston Boost it is for now.
10) During warm days drinking electrals/ORS during the runs instead of any other drink has made a huge difference in recovery. Recently, I tried Recover (post my runs) by FastandUp which worked wonders as well.
11) Post run stretching by way of basic yoga poses – Warrior pose, Downward Doggie, Dhanurasna, boat pose, reverse boat pose and Viparita Karani.
I hope this helps. Do share what works and what doesn’t work for you.
I have been running for a few years now. When I look back, it’s tough to believe how clueless I was about everything running. I used to run in “lifestyle” shoes, wear regular cotton shorts, a regular bra and called my first 5km a “marathon”. (don’t believe me? check my FB post!)
Here are some things I thought can help you if you are new to running –
1) You can start running whenever you want to, it doesn’t require any skill or technique, at least not in the beginning and if you are only doing it to maintain basic fitness levels.
2) Find running buddies – Running in groups or with friends makes it easier and definitely more fun. But do run alone at times (only if you are running in a safe place), it’s meditative.
3) Running gear – Buy some bright and good fitting running gear. It always peps you up.
4) Invest in the right stuff – Invest in a good sports bra and the right pair of running shoes. Trust me it’s an investment.
5) Run-Walk-Run is perfectly normal and at times desirable. It’s not something to be ashamed of.
6) Register for a 5km/10km, 3-4 months in advance as it will motivate you to keep at it.
7) One doesn’t necessarily have to graduate to a half marathon. Don’t feel the pressure of doing one. There are enough and more exciting 5km and 10km events. And that’s enough to maintain basic fitness levels.
8) Remember no one looks like a “runner”. One doesn’t have to look like one to run. Shed your inhibitions. Stop thinking about how you look while running. Trust me all non-runners will be in awe of the fact that you had the courage to get started.
9) Be shameless in flaunting that you ran a certain distance. How many people can say they ran a 5/10/15/21km? Remember you earned your bragging rights.
10) Create an awesome playlist of your favourite songs to carry along with you on the run. But at times listen to the sound of your foot pounding the ground, it’s beautiful. (But get rid of the head phones if you are running in a secluded place or where there is too much traffic. You need to be alert).
11) There is nothing called a “fast” runner. You will always be faster than someone and slower than someone.
12) One doesn’t need to run everyday. I run only 3 times a week even when training for a half/full marathon. But I do yoga and bit of strength training whenever time permits.
13) Eat a banana/dates 45 minutes before a run. Drink electral/ORS on hot days.
14) There are days when you will be super charged and there will be days when you feel completely sluggish. Run anyways.
15) Respect your body. If pain persists for more than 2 days, it needs your attention.
As you begin your journey, you will learn a lot about yourself and your body on the run. It will make you curious and you will wonder why you were not doing it all this while but it’s never too late. Attaching a video of a nun who started running at the age of 48 and is the oldest person to have completed a Ironman (run/bike/swim) within 16 hours.
You might also like https://momontherun.in/thisgirlcan-so-can-we/