The views expressed are guest author’s personal.
Most of us have had phases of quick 5Ks to Ultra-marathons, cycling obsession/cross training, DNFs through which we’ve fumbled, injured, been through pain, fallen into the ‘No Pain No Gain’ culture and more often gone through phases of confusion interacting with runner turned Gurus in addition to a lot of running theories and information on the web and books.
In an era of information sans knowledge and wisdom, it only makes sense to take a pause and give a thought as to why a primitive and natural activity like Running has been made so complicated? Or is it really so complicated that we need to ponder over it so much? A three-year old runs all-day without talking about recovery, training programs, compression gears, dry-fit clothes, recovery drinks etc. but for us adults running becomes rocket science.
So what happened to the natural runner within us then?
1. The dysfunctional breakdown of the Human anatomy due to the culture of new smoking (sitting) in front of TV, phone, computer, and most often in wrong postures.
2. The era of modern day food taking over the real food we ate “those days” depriving us of essential nutrients and pumping in excess glucose, sugar, and carbs leading to overweight issues, poor absorption ability, and obesity coupled with nutritional deficiencies.
Naturally with the above issues, poor postures leading to under usage and over usage of a certain group muscles and shortage of those important vitamins and minerals it is not surprising that running has become a complicated study. As a running and fitness coach with integrity at the core of my approach and factoring the longevity of my trainees it is my responsibility to ensure running and fitness experience is simple, holistic, realistic, and sustainable. To achieve these goals we first need to look into the essentials of fitness and running before getting into the training and injury loop.
1. Understand past and present fitness, health conditions and lifestyle.
2. Determine future fitness goals and draw a line between short and long-term goals.
3. Understand the nature of job, stress-levels, no of hours available per week for fitness, and food habits.
4. Perform necessary tests: BP, Insulin sensitivity vs. resistance, Vitamin (D, D3, C, and B12 importantly), zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron etc. I’m surely able to connect a lot of dots here!
5. Perform an in-body analysis to determine the BMI, muscle, fat, and visceral fat %.
6. Based on the information work on basic fitness essentials through:
a.) Strength and flexibility training
b.) Cardiovascular health
c.) Yoga and meditation for better mind and body connection
d.) Design a diet based on test results to bring a balance in the body
e.) Correct postures through a series of posture correction and improvement exercises
f.) Achieve ideal weight based on age, body-type and height
g.) Monitor progress time to time.
When the body sets right it evolves back to its true nature and form running efficiency comes a bit more naturally. Without addressing what I call Running Essentials no amount of running specific training will help become a better runner but can back-fire and damage the body further.
Shreyas Karnad is a running, weight loss, and fitness coach at Runners360 with an experience of 8 years in the running and fitness world. In the process he has lost 57 kilos overcoming obesity, run a number of marathons and ultra marathons, cycling long distances and raising funds for several causes. Currently, he coaches a group of over 50 people through his fitness venture Runners360 in Bangalore and virtually for marathons, weight loss, and general fitness as strives towards bringing in culture of Holistic Fitness for Fit, Body, and Soul. Besides, he practices Yoga as a part of his Hatha Yoga teachers course and works with an MNC as a Content Engineer.