It is commonly felt that running is not fun. This is true even among athletes, whether in team sports, or individual sports like martial arts, racket sports or even those in the health and fitness industry. The only ones who seem to like running are the runners.
The biggest complaints against running are:
1.I can’t run! After a few minutes, I am panting and I have to slow to a walk.
2.It is so boring and monotonous, just putting one foot in front of the other. It’s not challenging, not like soccer or badminton or netball, basketball, frisbee…
3.My knee hurts, so I cannot run.
4.Running? There’s no interesting gear to buy, it just doesn’t seem that cool. Plus, it’s so slow to go on foot… isn’t it better to cycle?
I am sure there are many more reasons for not running if you are looking for it!
Let’s address these issues one at a time.
“I run a bit and I pant, and I need to walk.”
The issue here is pacing and conditioning.
Running is not simple. It is a complex movement where a foot lands on the ground, then your forefoot pushed off and propel your body forward and in an almost falling posture, the other leg swings forward and and repeat the process. At a point of push off, both legs are in the air.
At the same time, the arms move to synchronise with action of one foot landing and pushing off, and then with the other foot doing the same; and the cycle is repeated.
So, to run, your body needs to learn to fire all these different muscles repeatedly and produce force at the right amount for the whole duration.
You also need to breathe and process oxygen to burn to produce energy to move those different parts of the body.
For someone whose body has not been conditioned to perform this complex action, it takes neuromuscular adaptation! (http://www.ptdirect.com/training-design/anatomy-and-physiology/chronic-neuromuscular-adaptations-to-exercise)
Your body is simply is not ready. It is not unlike taking a family sedan for a drive expecting it to perform like the sports car like Ferrari.
For all these reasons, you are not conditioned to run…yet.
However, our bodies are adaptable and learn fast, so conditioning will not take too long but you must give your body time. Here are some pointers:
- Use a walk-run strategy when you start .
- Walk before you need to and you won’t be panting and coming to a halt!
- When you find the run easier and can run for longer and walk less, only then should you run faster.
- Increase loading slowly, your mind may think you are a superman but your body needs time to adapt to it.
With these tips and others like these, hopefully, running should not be so hard. And maybe you would see yourself as a runner.
Yes – running is hard but you can learn. The joy is different but it is there, and running can be fun. There is gear to covet and many social opportunities. And as a bonus – running is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories!