Get Set… Run!

Illustration of people in different colours running
Photo: © Zhanna Millionnaya / 123RF Stock Photo

Have you marvelled at the number of people that participate in a marathon in any given city? Aren’t you a bit inspired when you see people run the full marathon (42 kms) or the half marathon (21 kms) but couldn’t build on that sudden impetus?

Well, turns out, running isn’t that difficult. You just need the initial push and prolonged consistency, both though, easier said than done.

There are quite a large number of people in this world who have run miles and miles and have inspired a generation of great runners. When you start out as a runner, one should have absolutely no goals. The whole effort is to enjoy the feeling of movement.

If a person can follow these basic principles, then running becomes very easy. Metres will turn into kilometres and there’s no looking back.

A simple way to start is to buy a digital watch and run for time. Maybe you can run for 10 minutes or 20 minutes. If you can achieve that for a fortnight, then you are ready to move to the next level.

How does one choose the next level? Simple! Increments should be at the rate of only 10 per cent. For example, if you are able to run 10 minutes and you have become comfortable running for that much time, then you increase it by 10 per cent. In other words, you improve to only 11 minutes, then 12.20 minutes and so on and so forth.

It always pays to remember that the slower your progress, the more grounding you are gaining. There may be people who move from 10 minutes to 20 and 30 and 40, but doing this will not help you at all. In fact, it will only burn you out faster.

Secondly: Take running week by week. Once you have achieved some kind of proficiency in running then you look for peaking towards the end of the week. Let me explain: Generally, as a rule, most runners do not run on Mondays, Tuesday is for easy run, Wedneday is slightly more tough, Thursday either you take it easy and run as much as you did on Tuesday, or take a break. Friday is fairly intense but semi-long distance and then Sundays are for LSD. Not the drug but in running, it is called the Long Slow Distance.

Sundays you run the longest distance/time and run 10 to 30 seconds slower per km than your average heart rate. If you can run 30 kms over three hours then you take 6.30 minutes per km for the Sunday run.

Once you have achieved more than a fair amount of proficiency in your running and you are physically and mentally ready to up your running then you need to include a few training methods.

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V. Anand

The author is a veteran journalist and has run a number of full marathons himself.

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V. Anand

The author is a veteran journalist and has run a number of full marathons himself.