The first and most difficult step is, as usual, to start. This is probably felt by anyone who has ever started a regular run.
At the same time, “starting” does not mean running once and then waiting for another opportunity to put on your running shoes and go out into the streets, the park or even the forest. It is a willingness to maintain a regular diet, which is a basic condition for success in order to achieve clear results.
It can be – let’s face it – a good poison. During the first few days, you often have to struggle to get your shoes on properly and get exhausted.
However, if you overcome this initial phase, your efforts will benefit. Not only will your physique straighten up and you will likely shed some of those extra pounds. It is also a form of mental hygiene that will boost your mental resilience. Running is a great way to relax and clear your mind.
This is also why running is so popular among people with high workloads, such as senior executives. And also the reason why I decided to go see him about a month ago.
How to do?
Because not only what you do is important, but also how you do it, I turned to experienced runners from the Prague sports club RunCzech and their Running Mall. So it didn’t take long, and my naive idea that I would just walk down to the front door and be ready to run fell apart like a house of cards.
Anna Vitoušová became my personal mentor for this monthly challenge, who managed to transmit some of her enthusiasm for running to me in an instant. However, before dating for the first time, some basic questions needed to be clarified:
- Which shoe to choose? It is optimal to have running shoes, rather volumetric if necessary. A well-softened shoe with support can provide tremendous support when running. But the most important thing is that the shoe is a little bigger, because the foot works and needs space to run.
- How often should I run optimally? It is ideal to do physical activity three to four times a week. Depending on the level of the runner, it is possible to start with one Native American running unit and two walking units, or even three running units.
- What activity should I complete while running? It is good to allow time between training days for regeneration and to supplement the run with strength training and stretching. The amount of regeneration depends on the amount of activity and it is good practice to alternate passive regeneration with active regeneration. Ideally, running is supplemented with strength training and compensatory activities such as stretching, swimming, or yoga.
- What is the optimal running time for a beginner? Running makes sense anyway. Ideally, the activity should last about 45 minutes. Intensity, amount and compensation all depend on the person’s condition and athletic history. It is important not to overdo it and to persevere.
- Should I run in the morning or at night? It mostly comes down to the rider’s personal preference. Some people like to start exercising early in the morning and do it for the rest of the day. But if you decide to run in the morning, you need to start with a heavier warm-up, because after the night you need to move your body properly. However, an evening run tends to be better for relaxing and clearing your mind.
- Which land to choose ideally? It’s good to change terrain, but if you’re not used to trail riding, it may give you problems at first. The rougher terrain is good both for strengthening the ankles and for using and strengthening other muscles in the lower extremities.
- When and what to drink? If you feel thirsty during training, add fluids in small doses. Otherwise, drink plenty of water to cover all your expenses. It is also good to add minerals.
- How long before training should I not eat? However, it is generally recommended to eat easily digestible carbohydrates half an hour before physical activity. Bananas or dried apricots or chocolate are excellent. Larger meals are not suitable about an hour and a half before the race.
- What if it freezes outside? If it’s freezing outside, it’s better to run slowly and breathe through the scarf. The air becomes slightly humidified and warms. If you are not comfortable with gel, a good alternative is to run on a belt.
Each of our trainings started the same way – and that walking, which is used to warm up the muscles and move the joints. It also served the same purpose dynamic, approximately five minutes of warm-up. During the warm-up, it’s good to get all the joints moving, as we all know from elementary school exercise, to move as much as possible (but not through pain) and to dynamically activate the muscles.
Probably the only time you can run from the front door of your house is when it’s freezing outside – as it was the previous days. Then it’s best to do a warm-up before running in the warmth of the house. It would take longer to warm up outside and we would freeze unnecessarily.
If the conditions are suitable, i.e. if it is not freezing outside, it is advisable to complete the classic warm-up basic sports alphabet. It is used for comparison and additionally activates exactly the muscles that are used during running.
It was these simple running exercises that helped me crucially – adjust running movements and technique. We had to focus primarily on proper hand holding, but also on optimal leg movement and forward lean.
For example, the arms should ideally be at a 90 degree angle at the elbow and move back and forth alternately. Unless it is a sprint, the anteroposterior range of motion of the hand need not be particularly wide. The elbow passes only slightly behind the back. And of course I didn’t succeed at first.
The race itself (according to the parameters above) came next after that.
When I’m done
However, even a successful return to this gateway does not mean the end of training. That is, if your race ended here.
After all, training must be followed by proper training stretch all the muscles. Only then can you consider the training complete. But before you start stretching, it’s ideal for taking a moment of relaxation, drink and allow the muscles to cool slightly. (Completely cold muscles do not stretch well.)
But then you can enjoy the great feeling that you have done something for yourself and your body. Moreover, it multiplies with the increase in the days and weeks when you actively practice this sport.
Something a person initially thought of as a duty can become a hobby that can make even the most demanding day more enjoyable. In addition, with each subsequent training session, the runner can perceive noticeable progress that motivates him to continue and improve further.
“Like at work, you can enter a state that you could call burnout while running,” says Anna Vitoušová, who has personal experience of it.
It often happens that people compensate for their unrealized ambitions precisely by running, where there is a first rapid progression. However, when they fail to achieve their athletic ambitions, it can easily lead to frustration, overtraining and injury.
“Most of the time, this translates into demotivation and a complete abandonment of the race or, on the contrary, frustration at not being able to run anymore”, adds Anna.
This is why here, as in other areas of life, the golden rule applies: “Everything in moderation”.