How Quarantine Made Me Fall in Love With Running
Some tips after a month of running:
If someone asked me what criteria I could use to divide people into groups, I would say, “Who likes to run” and “Who doesn’t.” Remembering all my kith and kin, I can confidently say that they can be divided by this criterion.
What about me? For a long time, I considered myself a running hater, even though I have been going to the gym for 15 years. But it’s been a month since I started running. What has changed?
Many of the changes that have taken place in my life in last year are due to quarantine. Constantly working from home in a company with a fridge led to excess weight.
I know that doing crunches without dietary adjustments and aerobic exercises won’t lead to six-pack abs. So I decided to consider running as an additional part of my routine.
At first, I did a little research on why people don’t like running and the negative consequences of running. Here are some of them:
- running may traumatize the legs;
- running doesn’t make your figure look athletic;
- running in the streets can be dangerous (lack of run tracks, bad roads, or poor weather).
As it turned out, running does not look so bad. Yes, such a sport is quite traumatic, but following simple rules will help avoid problems. It is also not always possible to find running routes on the street, and you need to be very attentive to other road users.
But it is easy to solve by running on a treadmill in the gym or at home. What is true, running will not help make you Mr. Olympia. Just look at professional runners. In this case, weight-lifting exercises are better suited for gaining muscular strength.
What are the recognized benefits of running:
- strengthening immunity;
- improving mood;
- stabilization of blood pressure;
- lowering sugar levels;
- fat burning.
Sounds fine, but many people do not experience problems with blood pressure, sugar level, and have good immunity. Fat burning sounds tempting, but not enough to do running on a regular base.
So, I identified extra benefits that will motivate me to run:
- there is no need to run fast to burn calories;
- running allows me to take a break in the middle of the working day, warm up and give my eyes some rest;
- such a break distracts from the work routine and has a positive effect on my emotional state.
Some tips after a month of running:
- Start with short distances (2–3 km).
- Choose the right clothes and shoes. For many novice runners, it all starts with choosing clothes, shoes, and other equipment. It’s a pleasant routine, but unfortunately for many people sport ends after they have made all the purchases. I never bothered about it. The main rule — shoes should be comfortable and light, and clothes should convey water away well. If you run outdoors, make sure your clothes have reflective parts.
- I do sports every day. One day — strength training, another — running. The advantage is that running is more comfortable, and so I go to the gym without any coercion.
- I run in the gym on the treadmill. The temperature is always comfortable, and there is no need to worry about safety. Besides, I can choose the perfect running pace. I don’t watch TV while running and give my eyes a rest.
- My running takes 40 minutes (about 5 km). Many sources state that this is the optimal duration for running.
- I try to run at midday as there are only a few visitors in the gym.
- I run in a fat-burning zone. There is a general formula for how to define it. Determine the maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Then count 60–70% of the maximum heart rate. For me, it is 111–130 beats/min. In this zone, 85% of calories are burned from fat stores. Since this is a general formula, I advise you to consult a doctor about the optimal running regime.
My results after the first month:
- no more back pain from constant sitting at the computer;
- significant improvement in well-being;
- many good ideas came to my mind while running, including for future articles on Medium. Since I’m running on the treadmill, it’s easy to write down thoughts and not worry about getting hit by a car;
- no leg pain I expected to get;
- my belly has become flatter.
I am thrilled with these results and do not regret that I started running. If you are unsure whether to spend time running, I hope the above tips will help you make the right decision.