GBG Magazine November
Improve and stay healthy
Are runners simply the worst at looking after themselves or do all fitness folk behave the same way? Donning kit to complete the compulsory lunchtime run because that's what we do. No thought to goal setting or starting with a warm up and finishing with a stretches routine. No consideration to varying things with a session in the gym, on the bike or in the pool. And I'm not going to go down the road of discussing the belief that the pizza or Big Mac is sufficient for sustenance, the thought that when exercising the occasional sip of water is sufficient to slake the thirst or considering what constitutes sufficient relaxation or rest.
Recreational runner or potential gold medalist we need to start with a plan and, if new to it, the plan starts with getting an MOT ensuring that everything that should be working is! Goal setting is as critical in ensuring the completion of the first 5k run as it is to increasing distance or improving time. The watchword here, at whatever level, is not to overdo it. Any and every advance should be should be considered and thought through. Planning every run, giving every training session a purpose ensures targets are met and goals achieved.
At the start, how critical is the body looseners routine and starting slow? Apply every time, get the ideas ingrained for, from first hand experience I can tell you just how the adrenalin kicks in and messes with the best laid plans. Out of the blocks and away from the starting line like a whippet, Chi Running technique a mess and running like a crab resulting in hitting the wall at 18 miles when running my first marathons and the body taking days to recover! Not a happy time!
Be strong through the run, cycle or swim with strength and stability and get into the gym. So many of us think that the run, cycle ride or swim is enough. Belief that putting in the miles and success will automatically follow is a fallacy. Apart from the introduction of Alberto Salazar into Mo Farah's life to what can we attribute his success? His sessions in the gym that his coach introduced. Paula Radcliffe? Different coach, same approach. Runner, cyclist, swimmer ... Want to improve performance? Hit the gym.
And on every completion? Why is stretching important? Well it isn't important. It's more than that. It is blankety blank essential! And here are a few good reasons why ... ensures time for controlled slow down after exercise, maintains flexibility, restores muscles to resting length, good for balance and posture, flushes waste (lactic acid) from muscles. Need I say more?
Yes I do, but not today.
Certified Chi Running/Chi Walking Instructor