Imagine if you had to make an important presentation with very little notice and with no preparation. Or imagine the old days of taking exams with next to no preparation. What do you think of the outcome? Not to your liking, right?
Start slow: Running at a pace where you can say “Good morning” 5 times without gasping for breath is a good start. When you feel you are running out of breath, walk for 1-2 minutes, till your breathing stabilizes, then repeat the running. A 2km run/walk is a respectable starting point for an absolute newbie. You will be shocked at how quickly you are able to “transform into a runner!”
“You are what you eat”
We know that adage is true. So, if you are to be a runner, what should you eat?
Should you absolutely include proteins? If yes, are the vegans/ vegetarians at a disadvantage, right at the start line?
Should you compulsorily eat pasta the night before a race? What if you like rice more than pasta?
Should you give up that pre-race glass of wine? Does a post-race beer taste better because it is celebratory or does it help with hydration?
As a runner, you realize the importance of “running form” to efficiently optimize the stride. You also know that running, being a repetitive weight bearing movement, may eventually lead to disastrous ill effects, unless the right “running form” is maintained throughout the run. When runners run, they check, recheck, constantly evaluate & correct their running form. This constant awareness does bring a positive impact on their run. But is that impact permanent? By working on the running form in isolation, they are only working on the symptoms but are completely unaware of the crux of the problem.
The one bit of data that is thrown around a lot about running, is that 80% active runners are injured each year.
While this data is true, the corollary is that 50% of the injuries sustained by runners could have been avoided if a few simple steps had been followed, such as stretches before and after scheduled runs, building strength in the body – especially muscles involved in running, building up mileage gradually, listening to post-run feedback from your body and taking action on time, be it visiting a physiotherapist, or RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation).