Run baby, run…
Why is everyone in the race?
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life,” mentioned Oprah Winfrey and like her, there are many actors, musicians, writers, politicians and other eminent people who have spent years running around the parks. No matter how renowned they are, they follow, at the same rate the countless hordes of marathon runners in the world. Yes! To run is “in”, and in recent years has not only won the hearts of Hollywood stars but has embraced everyone. They all discovered that running is a true palliative to pressures of contemporary societies.
I maintain that running is the mother of all disciplines and also one with the fewest barriers in physical and technical terms. And what about flexibility? The technique is easy to learn. You do not need to join a gym, club or have a schedule. It is in our nature to run and just by crossing the door of your house, you can begin your training. The initial physical condition does not matter. In fact, it is usual to go through footing and jogging before you can step on the accelerator. Your skills, gender, experience, age and weight can influence speed and endurance, but it does not really matter, since everyone has their own goals and progress can be built accordingly.
Do you remember the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila? This legendary Olympic marathon champion ran barefoot. Celebrities like Scarlett Johansson love it too and this approach was popularized in the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (available at www.amazon.com). The practice relies on the fact that man did not evolve to run with shoes. As a novice, I’m not proposing that you follow suit but if you are worried about equipment, keep in mind that this is a natural and non-sophisticated sport. The only serious investment you have to make is a pair of running shoes. If you want something exceptional, Nike has launched a collection exclusively designed for hot countries: Breath.
Running barefoot, Abebe Bikila became the first black African athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in 1960.
SEXIFY YOUR BODY
I can recognize a runner by the complexion and radiance of their skin and their strong and lean figure. Improving your body’s appearance is a very legitimate reason to join the race! Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Heidi Klum and Cameron Diaz have clearly declared that their main purpose for running is to stay fit or lose weight, as it is one of the activities that best meets these requirements. Running burns more calories than most other sports. The exact amount will depend on your speed and weight, but in 30 minutes the metabolism is accelerated and can burn between 300 to 600 calories. Running in a serious way also helps tone muscles, especially the buttocks and legs, and prevents or reduces the effects of cellulite.
TAKE YOURSELF OUTDOORS
When your life seems oppressive, run! “Running has made being depressed impossible. If I’m going through something emotional and just go outside for a run, you can rest assured I’ll come back with clarity,” reveals Alanis Morissette. Running is known to be a sure-fire way to prevent “burn out” in people who work in offices. Testimonies show that it is real emotional therapy. It helps one to find the perfect setting for a few minutes of introspection, releases stress, solves some dilemmas and discharges endorphins, the famous happiness hormone. Why book a day at the spa when a little fresh air and sunshine can work wonders for self-confidence and happiness?
JOIN A COMMUNITY
Running a marathon is one of the largest physical challenges you can set for yourself. Most marathoners equate the day they finished their first race with other unique days, like their wedding or the birth of their children. It doesn’t matter if you finish last, you are still a marathoner and are part of an elite club of people who have completed 26.2 miles. The most important events are arranged in London, Berlin, New York, Chicago and Boston and the international running community is amazingly tight-knit yet diverse and welcoming. To find your race, visit the international marathon calendar www.marathons.ahotu.com. In three months you can be ready for a 3.1 miles public debut. Training for a race or a marathon is a fantastic personal challenge that you will share with others. Be adventurous: travel and run around the world!
An athlete is not a person with a strong body but a strong mind. So why not mention the extra points in your curriculum vitae to impress the reader. Reading, swimming or cooking, hmmm… Strategic Human Resources experts confirmed that adding “running” to the CV enhances your image. 77% of the people participating in marathons qualify themselves as “competitive” and this attribute attracts companies so it’s not strange that they consider it a real plus. We are in a world where the labour market requires warriors, and running signifies someone organized, with strength of character, determination, the ability to set goals and overcome hurdles.
MAKE IT CLEAR
Your goal is to run 40 minutes at a good cadence. You will not achieve it the first week, but do not lose sight of this goal and listen to your body. It is best run a shorter distance, building a tempo to a fairly fast speed, than to cover longer distance at a turtle’s crawls. The vital factor is keeping with up certain heart rate and that’s why it is beneficial to have a professional monitor like Polar V800 that tracks your beats. The ideal is going about 60-70% (152 to 156 beats per minute). Do not despair and keep in mind that all marathoners were “normal people” unable to stand five minutes initially.
Before I sign off I’d like you to ask yourself why you would want to run and be aware that all responses are equally valid: to be fit, to feel better, to participate in a marathon, to clear your mind, to eat whatever you want.