We always hear that exercise is good for your mental health and as a lot of you know running releases endorphins which are a feel good drug. To be totally honest though the first two or three weeks of running, you are only learning and depending on your fitness, you probably aren’t fit enough to get a runner’s high.
The reason people get addicted to running is this high. The best way I can explain a runner’s high is when you get home after the run and you’re pouring yourself an ice cold glass of water you feel like The Hulk. I mean I used to do weightlifting and I never got a high like that of a runner’s high. You feel like you’re ten feet tall, four feet wide and that you could take on the world. So this is the aim.
Apart from the high you get a big sense of achievement every time you get off your ass and just run for a few minutes. There’s an abundance of different ways to start running. This is the method I used and use when coming back from a long layoff with injury which has happened to me a few times over the last few years, unfortunately my body is made of paper and breaks easily.
The main thing when learning to run is to accept that you will be sore at the start, you are using muscles you’ve not used properly before and on top of that your bones are learning to take a whole new type of force through them. Moreover, you must take it easy! Don’t ramp up your mileage too quickly or you will injure yourself and trust me when I say a ‘too much, too soon’ injury can leave you laid up for a long long time. Shin splints being the most common and debilitating culprit.
Shin splints is a catch all term for a variety of issues causing inflammation in and around your shin. They are incredibly painful and you can’t run through them, it’s not a ‘no pain, no gain’ scenario as much as a ‘You did too much, now you will suffer’. Shin splints also has no fixed recovery time, it totally depends on your body and some people are healed in a fortnight, others four months. So take it easy!
So this programme is for people with no running background and starting from scratch. Doing things this way will strengthen your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. It will prepare your body gradually to start taking more serious loads and you’ll be glad you took it slowly.
|Week One||Warm up -Walk briskly – 5 mins
Jog for 60 seconds and then walk for 60 seconds. Do this for 20 minutes. Walk briskly home.
|Week Two||Warm up – Walk briskly – 5 mins
Jog for 90 seconds and then walk for 90 seconds. Do this for 20 minutes. Walk briskly home.
|Week Three||Warm up – Walk briskly – 5 mins
Jog for 90 seconds and then walk for 90 Seconds. The immediately jog for three minutes and then walk for two minutes. Do this for 25 minutes. Walk briskly home.
|Week Four||Warm up – Walk briskly – 5 mins
Run for 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds. Run for five minutes, walk for 2 minutes. Run for three minutes, walk for 90 seconds. Run for five minutes, walk for two minutes. Walk briskly home.
|Week Five||Warm up – Walk briskly – 5 mins
Run for 5 minutes, walk for one minute. Repeat this 4 times. Walk briskly home.
|Week Six||Warm up – Walk briskly – 5 mins
Run for 10 minutes, walk for two minutes. Run for 10 mins, walk for two minutes.
On your third run this week; Run for 25 minutes with no walking breaks.
|Week Seven||Warm up – Walk briskly – 5 mins
Run for 25 minutes with no breaks.
|Week Eight||Warm up – Walk briskly – 5 mins
Run for 30 minutes with no breaks.
Things to remember;
- Run three days a week with one day rest in between e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Lightly stretch your leg muscles after your warm up
- Stretch well after your workout
- Don’t skip ahead if you think things are too easy, you may not feel tired but by rushing things you risk injury
- Eight weeks is a long time but it’s worth it
- Once you finish this eight week block you should be running near to or at 5k during a 30 minute run
- If you wish to keep upping your mileage find out how far you are running in 30 minutes, then increase your distance by 10% a week. So if you’re running 5k you can add 500 meters for week 9 then add 550 meters for week ten etc.
- Get good running shoes, go to your local running store and get them to assess your run, they will give you proper advice on runners to wear
- Running shoes can be expensive but they are an investment worthwhile if it means you avoid injuries
- Try to enjoy it!