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Week 2: Paul Gough's guide to running
So we're aiming to get you in shape for one of the 5k runs happening across the North-East.
And the mission of week one was to kit you out with the right gear and select the right trainers. That's important because you need to be both safe and warm with the dark nights coming.
I mentioned to you that a warm up is essential and also that a warm up routine is as simple as jogging on the spot in your hall way for 7-8 minutes, just enough to see a colour change in your face, before you head out for your run.
If you wanted to be really diligent, you could then even do some stretching on the move because your muscles are now nice and warm and ready to be stretched. Advisable if you want to make your run easier, and keep injury risk low. You need to be doing this warm up every time you're about to step out for a run. Note: these warm up rules apply to you whichever sporting event you find yourself involved with.
If you followed my plan of the old "run a lamppost, walk a lamppost" routine for 15 minutes every other night, then you're good to step up to phase two of my five-week programme. Starting today (Saturday), here's what I need you to do this week: Instructions: When you see Run/Walk, that means you need to run for 15 seconds, then walk for 45 seconds. Its a very nice, incremental way of bringing home your fitness and perfect for this stage that we're at.
Saturday: Run/Walk for 30 minutes.
Sunday: Walk for 30 minutes Monday: Run/Walk for 30 minutes Tuesday: Run/Walk for 30 minutes Wednesday: Rest Thursday: Run/Walk for 3 miles (4.8km) Friday: Rest.
Now you really need to be doing a cool down. At the end of each 30 minute routine, when you get in your house or when stood on your doorstep stand up against a wall and be sure to stretch and hold all of the major muscles you've just been using. These include your calf muscles, Achilles, hamstrings and quads. Your lower back could do with a bit of loosening too, especially as you've likely been running on a hard surface, which can cause a bit of back stiffness, more common if you're aged 40+.
An ice pack on one or two of those muscles for ten minutes might also prevent any of those next day aches and pains.
And one thing to watch out for, if you're brand new to running and you feel any pain on the inside of your shinbone, that's called shin splints. Best not to run with these injuries or to make the mistake of trying to run them off. Stop, get some ice and check your trainers. The number one cause of shin splints is poor choice of footwear.
When it comes to fitness, most of us have more potential than we have ever dreamed. Countless people pick up running in their mid to late 30s, wishing they'd gotten into the habit of fitness earlier.
And one of the reasons they don't is they're just not sure where to start.
Keep reading this column for the next few weeks and you'll be armed with a plan of attack to get you on the move and active.
By the end of my programme, you'll be in good enough shape to complete any 5k run inside 20-30 minutes, and more importantly than that, I hope to have given you the tools to kick start a fitness habit that will last.
Don't make the same mistake as many other men and women and wait until January to do something like this. Start this programme today and well move on to week three next Saturday morning.
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