Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Few More Tips For Running

A few more tips for running today, inspired by the Beginners Guide to Running. For some, running is not a great method of improving fitness. However, if you enjoy running, have to do it for a test or want to complete a distance race for any reason (this one is me), then it definitely works as a means to an end.

For those who already run, a lot of what I write here will be preaching to the choir, but for newbies, or those who haven’t really perfected their style, there may be something a little useful.

Warm Up

Stretching before a run is BAD. It adds extra strain on your muscles and increases the chance of injury. By conducting a good warm up before starting a workout, you will gain more benefit from the workout, and recover faster and easier at the end.

Form

Learning ~how~ to run is a key component of reducing the chance of injury and maintaining a more effective stride. There is a large following of “barefoot” running. While this may fill many with fear, with issues arising from glass, grit and general street-found-nasties, have no fear. As opposed to wearing cushioned high-tech running shoes, which can lead to loss of strength in stabiliser muscles and tendons in the foot, consider wearing specific barefoot running shoes. The market is large, with products ranging from trainer-style footwear to what is effectively gloves for feet…

Vibram

Adapting to a barefoot running style is useful, as any runner will find their form moving towards a toe-first style. Although this is better for the individual, it is also important to realise that after potentially some time of running in highly technical running shoes, muscles will be worked within the foot and ankle which have not been exercised in quite a while. It is important to start at the low level and work up to it, dealing with the new aches as you go.

Running For Weight Loss

The most important part of any weight loss programme is still healthy eating. I am still quite early in my programme so luckily, with the amount of weight I have to lose, the calorific burn from exercise is sufficient. Eventually I know, I will have to drastically adjust my diet to continue weight loss. With this is also the other way to increase calorific burn. Weight training, as mentioned a few days ago, continues to build calorie burning cells, increasing overall the number of calories which can be burnt.

Early Morning Motivation

There have been quite a few times over the last few weeks where I have seriously lacked motivation to get up and go. Working shifts like I do, waking up at 04:15 for a workout, or getting in the gym before a 03:30 start is difficult to say the least. However, reading this Milerunner post, it dawned on me that there is no real reason for it!

Looking at running a mile, there are distinctly more reasons to do it than not!

  • It is only a mile
  • It helps your metabolism to kick off at the start of the day
  • You don’t actually need to do it all. Try intervals, or walk it if you can’t face it
  • Make the run part of your schedule
  • Find a running buddy – if someone is relying on you, you are more likely to complete it
  • Plan to run early – It wakes you up, kicks off your day, and if you miss it, you have the rest of the day to complete it

A mile is 1.6 km, 5.280 feet, 63,360 inches, 1,760 yards. Easy isn’t it!

Weekly Weigh In

Weigh In

Friday 28th June 2013

Back on the wagon this week, which is always good, and seems to back up what I thought last week about water retention in muscles after exercise. I had family visiting this week so¬† didn’t really anticipate anything after eating awfully well!

I have decided to drop the measurements as part of my weekly process, and instead will do it monthly instead. As changes are extremely gradual, it works out better that way.

Start Weight (Kgs) Start Weight (Lbs) Start Weight (St)
113.62 250.5 17St 12.5lbs
Current Weight (Kgs) Current Weight (Lbs) Current Weight (St)
110.44 243.5 17St 5.5lbs
-0.69 kgs
-2.15 kgs
-4 lbs
-7 lbs
-4 lbs
-7 lbs

Levelling Up

Level 1

Any journey kicks off with a single step, one moment of inspiration or a solo move. Everyone starts the same way, and for anyone au fait with gaming terminology, this means beginning at level one.

Using Skyrim as an easy analogy (although most RPG’s will work), everyone begins in a village which is being attacked by a dragon, with no armour, no weapons and no idea where they are going. Ok, it may not be completely analogous to real life, but the general gist is there. We all start on our journey to success and heroism with nothing. The heroes are the ones who turn nothing into everything.

Like in a computer game, the first step is very straightforward, and is taken with tentative steps. For you, whether it is setting a baseline with weights, stepping on the scales, doing a fitness test or even just going for a walk, it is a way to set out on your heroes path.

Level Up

As time goes on, you will progress, and eventually your plans will step up a notch. Just like my journey, I have progressed from effectively strolling for thirty minutes, to running intervals. Again, just like my plans, you will level up enough times and take the step outside the secure city walls, and begin to explore the harsh wild world. When you make that step, you may feel like you have “made it”. Enjoy that feeling, you have earned it.

However, someone will come along to destroy your feelings of pride. You will meet an elite player, someone who has reached their top level, looks amazing, carries themselves with the level of pride which you can only dream of. Naturally, you will feel downhearted, you have so far to go. But look how much you can achieve! You can have the best armour, the sharpest weapons, wield the most powerful spells. Take this moment as the driver which it is meant to be, pushing you to hit your goals.

Armour
Use the elite players around you as a driver

Define what your overall goal is, then plan your path to success. Decide what your half-way point is and work to it. Find time to reward yourself with something which will keep helping you. A new set of swimwear, some new trainers, some weights for home. In any case, building up an inventory of the best kit will continue to show you what you are working for!

This blog is inspired by a post on Nerd Fitness, How to Level Up in the Game of Life