Running. Often something that divides people into packs – you’re either a runner, or you’re not. It’s not necessarily the form of exercise that is going to get you the body of your dreams the quickest, nor is it the most effective for burning calories over time. But it is always quite impressive, if you can do it over a fair distance.
The rise of the fitness gadget has encouraged this more than ever. People seem to wear their PB’s like a badge of honour, happily (or smugly, I am predisposed to believe) uploading their lengthy routes onto various forms of social media for us all to see. And no – even if they apologise for posting the achievement, it’s still definitely gloaty. It’s enough to make you slightly dislike the person, but also bizarrely envy them, and make you yourself want to hit the gym.
On the same tangent, it’s quite difficult to watch the marathon without feeling somewhat lazy, despite most of us knowing that it is probably the last thing in the world we’d like to do. In the months leading up to it, my Facebook feed fuelled by those seeking sponsorship for their charity of choice and uploading post-training selfies, I often put the thought of doing it to myself, only to be met by feelings of angst. It’s just not up my street.
Then again, I have always been a runner. I spent my early teens competing in national competitions (left behind for a social life), and my go to for head space has always been twenty minutes of pounding the pavement. Anyone who has done any running – or, in fact, just exercise – knows how good the endorphin kick is afterwards. Few things feel better than knowing you’ve pushed yourself during a workout, and so the feeling of finishing a seriously long distance run is tempting to experience. The thing is, given my age and fitness, I know that if I really wanted to, I probably could run a marathon. But the achievement seems terrifying, and certainly slightly insurmountable – especially when just adding a minute onto my run seems like a serious win…
The fact, I’m sure, is that it is all about baby steps – and we wanted to work them out. In all honesty, a marathon probably isn’t going to be my first move into the foray into long distance running. But a half marathon might just be manageable… I think. I decided to speak to a specialist at Nike about exactly how I could contemplate going about training. If you’re thinking about entering the world of running, this is the only breakdown you need.
“If you are completely new to running, start with no more than 20 minutes, three times a week,” Nike Master Trainer Joslyn Thompson-Rule tells me. “If running for twenty minutes is too much, break it up into short bursts of running, followed by walking to recover.” Nike has a host of Run Clubs from all its London stores most days of the week, for all abilities, all are free of change to attend. To find out how to get involved in your nearest one visit: Nike.com/London”.
“You can then increase the time and distance you run over time, but training should still be three times a week when training for a half marathon. There are other exercises you should incorporate into your training too. Lunges and squats will ensure that you run strong; while planks will ensure that you have a stable midline to power you through your runs. The Nike Training Club App is a great tool to use when training, as there are drill packs designed specifically for runner.”
“Don’t forget the importance of stretching – warm ups and cool downs are just as important as the training, if you want to avoid injury and keep the running up. A dynamic warm up is great to prepare your body to run: this should inside high knees, heel flicks, hip opening rotations, and some reverse lunges to open up your hip flexor a and fire up your glutes. Cool down by stretching out the quads (front of thighs),hips, hip flexors, calves and chest.”
“Rest time is also key – you can’t expect to go hard at it every day. If you leave at least a day in between each run, that will give you time to work on your complementary strength work.”
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