I am not a runner
I can’t run. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not entirely unfit. I aspired to gymnastics as a child, found myself rather dubiously in the netball team at school, I’m an avid skier (often keener in spirit than my technique allows), and I hold a blue belt in taekwondo. A random mix of sports with more bravado than form.
But I just can’t run. I can’t get a rhythm, everything bounces about, I’m out of breath within 5 minutes, my hips hurt, the thought of continuing is sheer hell… and so on.
But at the same time, I didn’t want to become couch-shaped in confinement, which was looking like a real risk, and I had a few extra pounds of emergency chocolate biscuits to shed.
Ironing out the niggles
Inevitably if you, like me, are over 40, haven’t run much before and especially if you’re not a regular gym goer or haven’t exercised in some time, you will very likely experience discomfort. Stiff muscles, aches and pains from under used and under conditioned body parts! This is par for the course. But if you take some time to work through your issues you’ll come out on top.
Your body will thank you! It is important to stretch after running and on your rest days.
You need to work through a good 10 minute routine from head to toe. This will help to ease out unaccustomed muscles and tight tendons.*
- Download the Couch to 5K app Its free, there’s a choice of ‘coaches’ and they provide structure and encouragement.
- Get some good running music. No slow or mopey tunes – Lana del Ray or Mozart won’t cut it – get something with pace and a strong beat to drive you on.
- Try to stay in the moment and don’t keep looking at your watch. Your app coach will call out the pace.
- If you experience pain or discomfort, ease off, don’t push on if your calves are screaming. Walk it out, focus on stretching more and try again in another day or so.
- Make sure you’re hydrated and wear sunscreen!! (Yes Mum!)
- If you’re really struggling with muscle aches try a cup of Epsom salts in your bath. Relax for 15 mins and let the magnesium sulphate reduce inflammation and relax the knots.
- Proper running socks. They are like a hug for your feet – really!
- Blisters – incorrectly fitting shoes, incorrect lacing, the wrong socks (see previous point). See Profeet’s comprehensive blister guide or try anti friction cream – also good for other body parts.**
I found most of all that on returning home and settling back into my home desk and work tasks, I felt frankly fabulous. Pure endorphins coursed through my system, nearly as good as skiing or a good sparring session. Plus, as an added benefit I had started to shift those extra pounds.
And beyond this I seem to have become addicted to running. Who’d have thought the non-runner would ever find pleasure in the act of running and yet I have, I have finally had my Forrest Gump moment! In fact I’m now well on my way to 10K…and who knows where else. I reckon if I can do it, then anyone can.
Go on, give it a go!
*Please exercise responsibly and listen to your body. If anything causes pain or discomfort, we recommend you stop and either try something different or seek professional advice.
** If you continue to experience problems we recommend that you book an appointment at the Profeet Run Lab when we re-open. To be kept informed, join our monthly community newsletter at the bottom of the page.