You want to get into shape? Why not take up running? All you need is a pair of running shoes and a good play list. For those who hate the idea of going to the gym for fear that they will bulk up if they lift weights, running seems like the simple choice.
Running is more than just a cardiovascular exercise; you need strength and efficiency!
One key to being successful with running is to have good lower quadrant strength to handle the ground reaction forces imposed on your body from contact with the road. Running is a plyometric activity. You need to build up this capacity in your lower leg, especially your calves for mid foot runners or quads for heel strikers. To withstand the performance demands of running you will also need strength in your gluteus medius and hamstrings! Here is an excellent link to Chris Johnson’s (Seattle based Physical Therapist) who has some great exercise videos for runners! ChrisJohnsonPT.com.
Another key to successfully starting a running program is tissue adaptability. Most runners increase their training too quickly and have to stop running due to overuse issues like ITB syndrome or Achilles tendinosis. Start with a walk-run program. Don’t be defeated by this strategy as some of the best runners in the world use this method in their training! Here is a great resource to use to start your program: TheRunningClinic.com
Running demands recovery too. Post-running hydration should aim to correct any fluid loss within 2 hours of finishing. In an article posted on RunnersWorld.com it was suggested that “For every kilogram of bodyweight you lose, you need to drink one-and-a-half litres of fluid. Try to drink around 500ml in the first 30 minutes after your run and keep gulping every five to 10 minutes until you have reached your target”.