Should you run to get fit?
This seems like a pretty obvious questions. Surely running gets you fit right? Yes of course it does but should it be the first thing we decide to do when getting into or back to fitness.
Running is a great way to build your cardiovascular fitness, but nine times out of ten the majority of are going from doing nothing to suddenly pounding the roads running 3 times a week with no previous training.
Like i said running is a great form of fitness but only if you have built up the strength in your body to do so in the first place.
How to get fit for running
Now you are probably asking how should i run to get fit then?
One thing you need to take into consideration before you run is whether or not your joints can take the pressure, and if your muscles are strong enough to do so. We require a lot more strength and stability in the body than we may realise for running.
When you run the muscles and joints are put under a lot of pressure. If they are not able to withstand this it is more than likely you will get injured. Those nasty shin splints will most likely rear their ugly head too. So before you decide to start running take these things into consideration.
- Have you ever run before? If the answer is no, don’t run
- Do you have an ankle or knee injury? If the answer is yes, trust me running won’t strengthen it. Only specific rehabilitation exercises can do that.
- Are you overweight? It’s safe to say if you are over the average weight those extra kilos will only make running a lot harder, increase your risk for injury, and potentially cause more damage later down the line.
- Can you breath? This may be a strange thing to ask but if you don’t know how to breath correctly then running can be even harder. Doing diaphragmatic breathing and working on your posture with Pilates will help you to breathe better when running.
The best exercises to do before running
If i didn’t put this first it would be a crime. Pilates is by far the most effective forms of exercise that will get your body stronger. It works deep within the body focusing on all those stabilising muscles needed to keep your body functioning optimally. This form of exercise is endless with so many possibilities on how to train and stabilise the body safely. Try this full length class to see what it’s all about. You don’t need a soft ball just follow along without one.
If you really want to run then building up the strength not only in your legs but your upper body too will only help. Once your start to create stability in your body from Pilates, building strong legs, butt and arms is your next focus. You don’t need to get too fancy here when you first start. Just focus on simple movements to get you started. Things like squats, lunges, press ups, bear crawls will be a great start.
This is also a great addition to your training to get you ready for running. It is another form of cardiovascular training that will get you fit without pounding those joints. Don’t go overboard here though. Once or twice at the most a week is more than enough. You can do stuff like Tabata Training. Here is a nice easy one to get you started.
And there you have it. Now i am not demonising running here in the slightest. However, we definitely need to consider if we should be doing it right now or if there are other forms of exercise that are better suited.