American distance running legend Steve Prefontaine said, “Running is for everyone. That’s the beauty of it. The world of track and field is a symbolic one. It teaches you how to get through life’s hurdles with a goal in sight. Unlike other exercises, the only essential prerequisite to running is the right attitude. No matter what the weather conditions might be, it doesn’t deter runners from being up and about in marathons across the globe.”
For many people, their approach to physical activity and exercise shifted during the pandemic. From embracing home workouts to navigating how to return to exercise after recovering from COVID-19, the pandemic has reoriented our relationships to physical activity. Running has been a big part of this. The period of gym closures and shelter-in-place guidelines led people to embrace running as a new part of their routine-many for the first time. Personally, for me, that’s why ASICS’s core philosophy of Sound Mind, Sound Body today is more relevant than ever. It continues to champion the benefits of sport and movement, not just on the body but also on the mind, having an everlasting impact on mental wellbeing.
Here is a guide to incorporate running as part of your lifestyle and reap the benefits on both mind and body.
The first step to anything new can be a tad bit intimidating, but once you put your mind to it, you can achieve wonders. Start small. You can only build your running journey if you take it one day at a time. Like they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Give your body enough time to adapt to running and gradually increase your speed. If this still feels like a mammoth task, find yourself a community to run with. Running with a community will give you a sense of belonging and, at the same time, motivate you to clock those miles together. You can also join ASICS’ running clubs across the country. ARC is an inclusive running group led by experienced runners who provide weekly training programmes with the intention of helping you achieve your personal fitness goals. With various training groups tailored to a runner’s specific needs, the club promises exciting running sessions, optimised to help you reach your personal best.
Invest in the right shoes and gear
A run can feel like a breeze if you choose the right pair of shoes – shoes that fit comfortably and suit your running style. I would recommend trying the ASICS FOOT-ID service at our retail stores; it’s an advanced technology that will help you pick the perfect shoe as per your foot shape and running style. It assisted me in locating the ASICS Gel-Nimbus shoes for my first runs and believe me when I say that running has never felt like an exercise since! running gear is equally important. Pick running shorts, tops, or tights that are made out of lightweight wicking fibres. While these garments aren’t necessary for running, they help you to stay dry and comfortable when you work out.
Use a walk/run method
If you are a beginner, I would recommend using the walk/run method for the initial days. This is the easiest way to build endurance with less stress on the joints and a manageable intensity level. Start by alternating one-minute intervals of running with one minute of walking, and then try to increase the time spent running. As you become more comfortable, cut down the time spent walking.
Make time for that run
Running workouts might be challenging in the beginning, but they shouldn’t be so hard that you never want to run again. During each workout, keep a comfortable, conversational pace. If mornings become too overwhelming for you, go for a night run. A pair of ASICS’ Lite Show collection can easily make that happen for you! The Lite Show is a collection that empowers runners to run on their schedule, day or night. The eye-catching bright colours and reflective details increase visibility and help runners feel safer and more confident when running in low-light conditions.
Nutrition and hydration
You’ll learn quickly that eating well and staying hydrated can influence your runs. You lose water through sweat, whether it’s cold or hot outside, so you need to drink before, during, and after your runs. When running, you should pay attention to your thirst level and drink when you feel thirsty. Similarly, it’s best to eat something light that’s high in carbohydrates but low in fat, protein, and fibre before a run. Aim to finish eating 90 to 120 minutes before you start running. Keep in mind, however, that every runner is different. Some runners can eat 30 to 60 minutes before a run and finish the workout comfortably. It may take some time to work out the best routine for you. In a world where stress is the norm, a running break is always a necessity.
By Rajat Khurana