We were born to run, the bones and muscles are situated in the body to facilitate the action of running. Just look at how your leg attaches to the hip and how the upper arm attaches to the shoulder.
Many moons ago, before vehicles were invented, if you wanted to get from A – B and time did not allow you to walk, the only option was for you to run. If you were being chased as prey or chasing prey your only option was to run.
We get a lot of people turning up at our fitness boot amp and the first thing they inform us is they cannot, do not want to and will not run. The reason for this is simple; it’s because they never have. It amazes me that there are lots of people out there that have never ran for an hour before… EVER. However, I have yet to meet a client that has not trained twice a week for four weeks and then not been able to run/jog for 60 minutes.
So how do we achieve this at our fitness boot camp. It’s quite simple really and I am going to break it down into four simple steps:
Boot Camp Route Selection – Begin by mapping out a route that will only take you 15 – 20 minutes – this should be manageable whatever your level of fitness. Choose a route that is flat that will enable you to maintain a slow, steady, manageable pace. Once you complete this distance don’t belittle it thinking that you did not go far enough. Instead give yourself a big pat on the back and say WELL DONE MEEE!!!
Boot Camp Pacing – If you have never run before then you cannot run too slow. DO NOT RUN TOO FAST. Even if you are jogging at a walking pace you will raise your heart rate to a level high enough to cause your body to undergo cardiovascular training. Your heart rate rises gradually at the start of your run, remains at the same level for the duration of the run, then slowly decreases to normal after the run. After several sessions you will increase your body’s efficiency of producing energy at the same given work rate or heart rate, enabling you to run faster. If at any time on your run you need to walk then you are simply running too fast. SLOW DOWN!!!
Boot Camp Breathing – The main thing your body does when you run is distribute oxygen around the body as the muscles that are used demand higher levels of oxygen. So all you need to do is regulate your breathing with your running pace. This can be achieved by spitting out a small breath the first time your left foot lands and a second spit when the right foot lands. It is important you still have approximately 60% of your lungs still inflated with oxygen after both breaths. You then inhale a comfortable amount of oxygen the next time your left and right foot lands and repeat the process. You can start by practicing this technique when walking then, once you are confident, break into a gentle jog.
Boot Camp Progression – Once you get comfortable with the previous distance increase it next time be adding another 10 – 15 minutes to your route. Continue doing this until you can manage a 60 minute run then measure the distance you have run (don’t worry about how far it is) – this then becomes your endurance run. Each week complete your endurance run until you are able to complete it in 55 minutes then simply add approximately ½ km.
It really is as simply as that and here are a few good reasons to use running as a form of exercise:
It is a very cheap form of exercise as all you need is a pair of trainers.
You can run anywhere, whether you are on holiday abroad or away on business.
It is very easy to assess your progress.
It is very sociable as you can do it with your family, friends or even the dog.
So why don’t you give it a go? You will be amazed how much better you will feel both mentally and physically.