Gotta Go Fast!
Whether you’re a heavyweight lifter or… well just heavyweight, the reality of the need for cardiovascular health is inescapable. Since the beginning of fitness running has been the most popular form of cardiovascular exercise. Running, whether you like it or not (and believe me for I while I hated it), is one of the best ways to build cardiovascular health. Running improves overall health, increases lung capacity and function, prevents disease, relieves stress, and even helps eliminate depression. Needless to say, running is essential for a well rounded fitness regiment as well as losing weight. The benefits of running and running regularly are immeasurable, that is why it’s important to know just how to run safely. Nothing ruins running more than an injury because of running. That is why it is incredibly important stretch and warm up before running as well as stretching afterwards.
Most people, including myself, use running as a pre-workout warm up; however it is very important to be ready for the stress that running can put on your body. Remember that it is very important to stretch out the major and minor leg muscles used for in running. Also getting your heartrate up before running helps send blood to those muscles as well as prepare your cardiovascular system for your workout. To do both of these you should use dynamic stretches, and never start your run with your standard pace, always start by walking for a couple minutes then move to a jog over the next few minutes then go for that 8 minute mile if you want. Dynamic stretching should leave you with a bead of sweat as these are movement that will stretch muscles then require a movement as well. For example “Hip rotating squats” are a combination of a hip rotation (Making a very large circle with your knee, rotating it outward into a slightly wider stance, but no more than a normal squat position.) and an air squat. There are tons of articles out there about many different dynamic stretches, however some of my favorite are actually yoga movements. There is an entire community in the fitness world that is dedicated to integrating yoga movements into running, heavy lifting, and even crossfit. One Yoga sequence that I do in addition to squats before I run can be found Here.
Walk it off… or on...
Once you are loosened up and ready for a mile or two, don't bolt just yet. Walking isn't that overrated so take a couple minutes before you break an olympic speed record to just relax and let your body find a pace. This is one of the best ways to warm up your legs and joints, especially the knees and ankles, and prevent injuries during your run. Taking a one or two minute walk before you begin your run can also mentally prepare you and help you reach a better mindset. Being physically and mentally prepared for running is very important so hold on slow it down and take a walk first.
Stop and Go
For people who are starting the new year trying to run off the calories it is a good idea to partition your run into segments. Breaking up you run into timed segments, switching between a running pace and and either a slow jog or fast walk, is the best way to build up the endurance needed to run a mile without stopping or even being exhausted. Whether you work in your partitions based on time on and off, or distance, breaking up your run can really help you in building your abilities, strengthening your core and legs, and developing your cardiovascular system.
Cooling off for Lap 2
There are many different post workout recovery methods, for very different needs. Many of the methods I use are for my full workout, however it is important that you take a minute after your run to let your body recover. I save protein shakes for after my full workout, but remember to hydrate your body well and use some dynamic and static stretches. I find that I have to focus very much on stretching my calves and ankles. Remember that there are many different articles about running and I can only tell you about what works for me. I was a 300 pound martial artist that needed to lose weight and started a very vigorous cardio cycle as well as heavy lifting but was able to use my flexibility to help with my running goals. I hope this helps you in beginning your journey to running into the new year, or continuing your pursuit of health. Thank you, God Bless.
What's up nerds!!! This community is awesome! I've loved writing since I started college and I've loved video games since I was born! (almost true I started on my dad's NES when I was 4) So I decided why not do both, so I started a Youtube channel. Check it out here and give me a thumbs up! It's only a little sad I promise.