Running has a multitude of health benefits. People who run receive an excellent cardiovascular workout, which helps keep the heart healthy. Running also burns calories at a high rate, and it builds muscle tissue. With its many health benefits, running demands correct technique. Improper training could lead to injuries, which can sideline you and prevent you from running, instead leading you to a seated position on a park bench. Children often get their needed exercise on playground equipment. While the kids get beneficial exercise on the park and play equipment, parents can stay healthy with a training program that will build strength and endurance.
Benefits of Running
- Running helps relieve stress, and it builds overall confidence.
- The elevated heart rate that occurs with running helps make the heart stronger. A stronger heart pumps more blood throughout the body.
- An average person burns between 600 and 700 calories in an hour of running.
- Bones respond positively to running by becoming stronger.
- The health benefits associated with running include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Diet and Nutrition for Runners
- A runner's diet needs to include carbohydrates for energy. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide nutritious carbohydrates.
- Runners need to consume the correct amounts of fluids for optimal performance. When running an event that lasts more than four hours, runners should consume between 6 and 8 ounces of fluids every 15 minutes.
- Foods high in carbohydrates are beneficial to consume before a running event.
- The post-event meal is important for recovery. Runners should eat carbohydrates and lean protein after a running event.
Motion and Mechanics of Running
- The gait cycle of running involves no period when both feet are on the ground at the same time.
- Forefoot striking is better for the body because it involves less impact throughout the body.
- Runners can avoid overuse injuries by paying attention to their body mechanics during running. Abnormal pelvic biomechanics can lead to injuries.
Elements of Proper Running Technique
- Knee injuries are one of the most common issues plaguing runners, and they may have a connection with a lack of proper running technique.
- Running on hills is an excellent way to improve running technique because the incline increases hip and knee drive.
- Proper running technique involves the position of every part of the body. Running in a springy way with a focus on good form is helpful for maintaining the proper technique.
- Proper running technique increases speed and reduces the risk of injury.
Running Injuries and Safety
- Some of the most common running injuries include plantar fascitis, muscle tears, and stress fractures.
- People who overuse their muscles by running too much may experience overuse injuries such as shin splints and achilles tendonitis.
- Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that involves tissues located on the bottom of the foot.
- Runner's knee involves pain radiating from the kneecap, and it occurs when a tendon is repetitively lengthened during running.
- Effective training should involve variable routes and distances to build up endurance.
- A pyramid training technique involves intervals that increase and then decrease in distance.
- A 5K training program likely involves a number of different runs, including a long run, a progression run, and a tempo run.
- When training, adequate rest is an important component to ensure recovery.
- Training for a long distance doesn't require only building endurance: In fact, mixing in some sprints can help build strength.
- Middle-distance runners utilize both aerobic and anaerobic energy at the same time to complete an event.
- Daily training and diligence can help a long-distance runner achieve the proverbial runner's high.
- Ultra running involves an extremely long distance or a long period of time for the race.
Miscellaneous Running Information
- Aerobic Training: Receive helpful advice and tips for beginning an aerobic training program of running from this and other articles posted on this website.
- 5K Run: 7-Week Training Schedule for Beginners: Use this training schedule provided by the Mayo Clinic to prepare for your first 5K.
- Your First Marathon (PDF): To prepare for a first marathon, beginning runners must start slowly to build strength and endurance. This guide provides helpful tips and advice for novice runners.
- Sports Training Tips: Running (PDF): The University of Wisconsin provides helpful recommendations to help runners train while avoiding injuries.
- Running Training Plan (PDF): Someone starting from complete inactivity can use this training program to begin running and to prepare for a 5K running event.
- Beginner 10K Training Plan (PDF): Novice runners can use this training plan to prepare for a 10K running event.
- Top Beginner Running Tips (PDF): Investing in a high-quality pair of running shoes is one of the first things a beginning runner should do to start a training program.
- Half-Marathon Beginner Training Guide (PDF): This 12-week training guide will help runners prepare to run a half-marathon successfully.
- Beginners Marathon Training Race Guide (PDF): One of the keys to successful training is to allow plenty of time to build strength and endurance. This race guide will help beginners with this process.
- Beginner Training Pack (PDF): This training manual provides recommendations for warm-ups, running distances, running on hills, and more.
- Marathon Training Tips (PDF): Review common mistakes made by beginning runners to avoid these typical missteps.
- 7 Tried-and-True Tools for 10K Training (PDF): Running in intervals is a good way to build endurance for a 10K running event.
Find more about the author: Kim Hart