Running is more than “Athletics”, it’s a Lifestyle

November 4th, 2021 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  Raquel Torres

Running is an excellent physical activity not only to get fit, but also to feel good, and even to meet new friends and see new places. Starting a new habit does not have to be complicated, running is one of the most practical, affordable and effective disciplines, because we simply need a pair of running shoes (in good conditions) and the desire to move, wherever you are.

For those who want to start this new discipline it is highly recommended that the first thing to do is to set a goal, look for an event or race, register and put it on your agenda or calendar.

For those who are starting from scratch, those who have no running experience or people who may have experience, but they feel very out of shape, for any reason, it is advisable to first look for a local event close by your home and a short distance like a 5K or 10K. Every distance is possible for any level, we only need enough time to train and prepare for the distance.

The goal that you set will be the main pillar from which workouts, nutrition and rest will be combined.  The goal will help you to focus on the really important things, it will be the reason to strive every day and build discipline. 

Some of the benefits of running is feeling happy.  If you are already a runner you have experienced this, no matter how you feel good or bad, after running or doing a physical activity for more than 40 minutes you will feel better, this goes beyond the so-called “Runners high”, it is the production of “happy hormones” (endorphins). 

Recent scientific studies in sport medicine now confirm that exercises like running or cycling for 40 minutes or more at 70-80% of maximum heart rate is able to significantly improve some mental and emotional disorders such as depression.  When exercising you can experience the benefits of spending time in nature and how it positively impacts humans physically, mentally and psychologically.  It helps to decrease the number of stress hormones in your body that feed anxiety and depression like Cortisol and Adrenaline.

How to start training: The Run-Walk Method is an excellent option for those who have never run and for runners to improve their times. Contrary to what many people think, this technique doesn’t mean to walk when you are “tired”, it means to take recovery walks.

You must use this technique of running / walking that best suits you, here some examples:

Experience/Fitness level: Running time:   Walk time:
Beginner   10-30 Secs    1-5 minutes
Intermediate   1-5 minutes      1-3 minutes

This technique is simple: for example, start trying to do a total of 20-40 minutes of exercise, doing 1 to 5 minutes of running + 1 to 5 minutes of walking (alternating run/walk/run/walk), after a 3-4  weeks and some progress you can slowly increase your running time while decreasing the walk time.  There are a number of apps for your phone that can be setup depending on how long your run and walk  timed are.

It is important to identify where you are and what your personal goals are, if you have any questions look for a running coach’s advice.

Setting short term goals will help you to stay motivated and long term goals to stay consistent, always take 1 or 2 days off every week and try to run/walk at least 3 times a week. 

Have a plan, be patient, enjoy the process and always remember, do your best for yourself and avoid comparing your progress or goals with others. Adding the habit of running to your life will attract many other good habits and benefits to you, your family and friends.


Overcoming the Three “D’s”

April 14th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  JoAnn Cranson

Disappointment, Discouragement and Depression.  In these trying times, it’s pretty normal to be feeling the 3 D’s.

Many of us are experiencing disappointment right now, whether its a canceled trip, all races stopped, graduation, weddings, parties, work layoffs, and get togethers halted.  In my thoughts I think to myself it’s silly to be so disappointed over a race or my plans that have been changed, but we need to let ourselves feel the disappointment so we can get beyond it.  Give someone a call that you know who understands how sad you are about a race canceled or another activity that you practiced for all year that isn’t going to happen, we need to express ourselves and let our sadness out.  Once that is done, then it’s time to move upward and onward.

But then discouragement seeps in.   Why should I continue to train hard or practice for a goal that may never happen this year?  What do I have to work toward?  I don’t even know when this is going to end.  It’s the unknown that can lead us to be discouraged to move forward.  I think it’s a normal feeling, but we need to look for other ways to stay motivated.  I’ve always wanted more time to work on my techniques and improve my form on the bike and running.  Really the best time to focus on this is when you are alone and can really think about what you are doing.  Well…. that time is now.

I’m planning to have one of my family members video me on my stationary bike or outside in the front, side and back of me so I can see my position, look at my form, pedal stroke,etc.  Then I’ll send the video to my coach or if you have an experienced rider or mentor to view and see if they have suggestions for you.  The same with running form. Click here to check out Athletic Mentors remote run coaching program.

There is also a remote training program that you can sign up for on the Athletic Mentors website to feel the motivation of live training right now, click here to check it out.

Maybe you always wanted to learn to play a different instrument or language.  There are so many online lessons now to take advantage of.  Give yourself some fresh things to look forward to.

Last, as time goes on and you are more alone, depression can creep up on you.  Well Fight It!  Get outside and take in the fresh air.  Be active in walking, hiking, biking, running, skipping, jumping, whatever you want to do.  Get off your phone or computer or out from in front of your TV to stimulate your brain by doing puzzles, cleaning closets, painting something you’ve been meaning to spruce up.  Better yet, think of something you can do to encourage your neighbor, friend or family member without coming in contact with them.  Set up new routines that keep you moving and stimulated.

The unknown can be scary and unsettling, but don’t let it get the best of you.  We all have so many things to be thankful for.  This is just a moment in time that we all need to be patient and work through in our own way.  Give yourself a break to feel the 3 D’s, just don’t live in them.

 



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