At this time of year it’s not uncommon to see more runners on the road as many are gearing up to tackle iconic races like the Two Oceans Ultramarathon and half marathon, taking place on Saturday 31 March 2018 (get your training programme here.)
These iconic events form part of the prestigious family of global marathons sponsored by adidas in other great cities such as Beijing, Berlin, Boston and London. If the runners you see on the road every morning or afternoon have piqued your interest, read on to find out why running is the world’s most prolific mass participation sport…
There are few forms of exercise that are as effective as running, be it for improved fitness or weight loss. It is also a great way to step outside of your hectic lifestyle and take a brief escape from the rigours of daily life.
There are few better ways to unwind than hitting the road for 30 minutes before or after work. It’s a time when you can separate yourself from the rest of the world, forgetting all your problems as you focus on your breathing and let the rhythm of your feet on the tar take control, as mile after mile of road glides beneath you.
The fact that running also has a much lower barrier to entry than other aerobic sports due to the cost means that it’s a sport that has a large following. This makes running one of the most social sports in the country.
But before you dive in, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, and probably most importantly, running is a high impact sport. This means that anyone with an existing injury or a predisposition to joint problems should seek medical advice and help before taking up the sport.
Secondly, the type of shoe you choose to run in will have a large bearing on your ability to really get involved in and enjoy your running. Everyone has varied biomechanics and different degrees of strength and mobility. This means there is no ‘one-shoe-fits-all” solution when it comes to choosing a pair of running shoes.
To make an informed decision it is best to have your running gait analysed by someone who looks at your how your body works as an integrated system, from your shoulders, through your hips and down to how your feet strike the floor.
Visit http://www.adidas.co.za/running-1 to review the latest innovations from adidas.
Get geared up
Choosing the right running attire is also crucial. Due to the repetitive motion inherent in running, the wrong type of running shorts can cause great discomfort, especially the longer you spend on the road.
Materials used in running apparel need to also ‘breathe’ easily, meaning that there needs to be a steady flow of air through the material to your skin to aid with cooling. Most manufacturers now have additional technology that wicks moisture to the surface, drawing sweat away from your body, to the outside of your shorts and running top, so that the wind can dry it off.
Make sure you speak to your running shop assistant, who should be able to help you with the best choice of running kit for you or visit https://shop.adidas.co.za/clothing/Running to view the brand’s range of running gear.
Hitting the road
Once you’ve found the right shoe for your running style and are properly kitted out, it is then time to hit the road. Over-enthusiasm at this stage can cause problems and result in an abrupt end to your running plans.
Periodised and progressive training techniques are the best way to get into running without too much pain and discomfort. As running is such high impact there is a greater occurrence of the muscle tears that lead to muscle soreness and next day stiffness when starting out or when increasing workload, through either distance or intensity.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.