Sunday, June 27, 2010

Running for Beginners: Getting Started & How To Keep Going Pt. 2

Amanda's How To Start Running Guide Continued. . .

Part Five: Variety = Better Preformance
     Once you've gotten into the swing of things in your running routine, you might be tempted to run every single day, however, I don't recommed that you do this. When you're running you're putting stress upon your knee joints that can cause a lot of wear and tear over a period of time. TO avoid this it's a good idea to give your knee joints a rest every now and then. Go for a bike ride, swim, do some strength training, practice yoga. Any one of these things are a good source of movement without putting a lot, if any,  stress on the joints.
     Another good reason for doing other types of exercises in between running days is that you are toning other muscles and shedding fat around other areas of the body. The leaner your body, the faster you can run, so using other muscles in your body other than you legs and you will be on your way to becoming a lean running machine!

Part Six: Recovery
     When you do any sort of high impact workouts, the muscles you use are broken down. It's during time after a workout that the body begins to rebuild those muscles and they will either become stronger or weaker depending on what sort of nutrients the muscle has at its disposal to use as building block for the new muscle.

     I have found personally that the best kind of recovery meal is some sort of smoothie. The nutrients in the food are already "chewed up" making for quicker digestion and nutrient absorbtion, which is good what you want so that you can get the nutrient building blocks into your body as soon as possible to build stronger muscles.

Some smoothie combonation ideas:

  • banana/mango/spinach
  • banan/date/coconut water
  • banana/pineapple/spinach
  • banana/grape/spinach
  • banana/spinach/apple juice
Note: Raw fruits and leafy greens will provide you with the correct carb/protein/fat ration needed for your body to rebuild and repair itself. If you want to know a more about the protein myth that has been spread across the nation by medical propganda, then I recommen reading "The 80/10/10 Diet" by Dr. Douglas N. Graham, "The China Study" by T. Colin Cambell and a previous blogpost that I wrote here

     It's also very important - especially if you are participating in high impact workouts everyday - to take a full day off from high impact workouts. Doing so gives your body a break from contantly breaking down and rebuilding muscles on a daily bases. This doesn't mean that you have to be a lie around all day, it just means to obstain from any really strenuous activities. For example, on your rest day you could do go for a walk or do some housework, ect.

Part Eight: Keep Up Your Health
     The key to having an energy filled run and still having strong energy levels through out the day is to make sure that you are keeping the 7 steps of health: NEWSTART
  1. Nutrition - Keeps you fueled for your runs and keeps you from getting sick so you can workout. Eat plenty of carbs from fresh, raw, sweet juicy fruit! Eat some raw leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, and seeds as well and you have yourself a nutrient and water rich diet! 
  2. Exercise - e.g. running
  3. Water - When you sleep you aren't drinking water, when you exercise you sweat out water, and your body is approx. 75% water. If you don't replenish your water body's water supply you won't be running anywhere.
  4. Sunshine - Allows you body to make vitamin D which is used in the absorbtion of calcium (which strengthens your bones so you can run without bone problems) and vitmain D gives you a boost of positive energy (will keep you energized and motivated to run).
  5. Temperance - Alcohol will dehydrate you body and kills irreplacable brain cells, not good!
  6. Air - Fresh air keeps your blood cells running and can give you body a pleasent, relaxing sensation, getting rid of stress.
  7. Rest - When you run you have broken down muscles in your body and released free radicals into your system due to the stress put on your body during ecercise. Your body need to shut down for a minimum of 6 hours while 7 hours is prefered, and 8 to 10 hours would be the best.  Whatever the number of hours you choose, the most crucial hours of sleep that you body needs to regenerate is between 10pm and 2am (has to do with specific hormones that are secreted at this time of night). Miss these four hours and you've dprived your body of muscle repairing time and you will most likely find your energy during your run and throughout the rest of the day will take a nose dive. 
  8. Trust in the Creator - Spiritual peace is important for your emotional well being. Trust in the Creator brings emotional stability to cope with life, which leaves your body free to function positively for your running and anything else in your life.

Part Nine: The Conclusion
     I hope that all the information, suggestions, and ideas that I have provided in this two part article for you, will help you reach your running goal(s). There is so much more information I would have loved to write and share with you, but if I did that I know it would turn into a book!  So I leave instead with this basic synopsis that will steer you in the right direction, and I am sure that over time as you become a better, more seasoned runner, that you will discover many tips and tricks that will benefit your preformance along the way. Good luck!

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