With the Lagos
City Marathon a month away, you’re bound to see more people on the streets
getting their final weeks of training before the big 42km dash. It’s a
challenge and some may think, why go through the stress? Some do it for the adrenaline,
some do it for the glory, some do it just for the bragging rights and some do
it for the money. No matter the reason to put on the running shoes and hit the
road, it’s all too important to get the steps right to avoid injury and
literally make sure your steps count all the way.
So here is a
little guide on running for all our road runners out there!
Running is a
great way to start the day. A jog around the neighborhood gives you time to
shake cobwebs off the mind and as your muscles warm to the chase and the heart
begins to pump harder, you feel stronger physically and mentally.
You don’t need
much, you can do it anywhere and you can do it all year round.
Why You Run
People go running
for different reasons which may vary from health purposes to athletic
No matter your reason for starting to run, know
that it's valid. It's your reason for running and it's no less important than
any other runner's reason. So figure out why you run and be content with that
- Get your Gear
The two most important pieces of gear a runner
needs are a supportive high-impact sports bra (for ladies) and comfortable
purpose built running shoes. Casual tennis shoes, hiking boots, and even cross
trainers are not the best choice. Make
sure they both fit well: A poorly-fitted bra can cause upper body tension,
which reduces breathing capacity and can make your run feel more difficult. The
wrong shoes can give you pain and a host of other issues. A good shoe will be
light and flexible, with a well-padded insole and heel support.
- Get Checked By A Doctor
Men over 45 and women over 50 or people have live
a mostly sedentary lifestyle require a doctor’s checkup or a health and fitness assessment to ensure
that you are healthy and fit to run at different levels. Overdoing it for your
fitness level can cause injury and once that happens you can lose out on your fitness
goals on the long term. A few factors that will be assessed include: blood
pressure, cardiovascular health, blood sugar control and endurance level. As an
aerobic sport, cardiovascular
training is very important, especially in long distance running.
- Choose Your Place And Method Of
Level grass fields or dirt trails are better
surfaces to run on than pavement or concrete. This is because the impact from
your feet hitting the ground is further cushioned and reduces the pressure on
your heels and knees, reducing the risk of injury.
If you walk into the National Stadium or Teslim
Balogun Stadium both in Surulere, Lagos State. You’d find a standard running
track for use.
- Start Gradually
For someone new to running, it can help to
combine short bouts of jogging and walking, and gradually build up in time
and/or distance. Begin by walking and jogging in intervals for 30 minutes and then
as the days go by, regularly increase the amount of jogging until you are
jogging the whole 30 minutes. Run for
time rather than distance. That way, your fitness goals will be realized.
*Note- Interval training is a great way to
develop the cardiovascular system without an unacceptable loss of strength, speed, and power.
- Stick With It
first few weeks are the hardest, but just remember that it takes 3 weeks to
form any new habit. Some people like to
have a friend to run with. It creates
that extra incentive to get out of bed when your friend is waiting on the front
porch. Find the time of day best for
you. Some folks like the break of day,
and others prefer a break after work or to wind down at night. Know your own body rhythms and what will be
most successful for you.
- Be A Social Runner
Have a plan each time you go out for a run, and
a specific target in mind. Better still, sign up for an event. Allow at least
six to eight weeks to prepare, so that you don’t overdo it, and give yourself
10 days off before the big day. It’s a fantastic motivator - especially if you
get a friend to sign up with you. Running can be such a solitary pursuit, but
there is a real benefit to making a connection with others - and no better way to
do that than by running together.
A good one is the Lagos City Marathon coming up on the 10th of
February 2018. The starting point will be at Western Avenue, in front of the
National Stadium Surulere, opposite Teslim Balogun Stadium at 7:00am. The
finish will be in front of Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island. A 10km
#FamilyFunRace has been included to encourage participation from indigent
(Nigerian) non-professional runners for fitness, fun and health purposes.
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