Easier Fitness: "Helping people with little time or low energy find simpler ways to exercise, eat better and stay healthy."
Here are some running fitness tips that I hope you can find helpful. How much do you enjoy running? How hard should you push yourself? Running can be one of the best things you do for your body. My aim is for you to enjoy it as much as you can.
When some people get into running, they can find themselves getting interested in their times and how fast they can run. They follow methods and training schedules, running techniques, all to lower their time. That is all well and good. I think striving to be your best and wanting to improve yourself are admirable qualities.
I would like to point out, though, that maybe that isn't you. Maybe what you would really like is to simply enjoy the run for the sake of running. You don't have to get caught up in the times and the seriousness of it all if you don't want to. For some people this is half the fun, but maybe that isn't you.
You don't have to compete in races. I'm all for races. I enjoy the camaraderie, the excitement, meeting new people. I encourage you to try a running race, even just once, to see if you like it. It may be something that you would like to get into for the rest of your life. I'd hate to take that away from you.
But don't feel that the only way you can run is to be training for something, or concerned about your times and whatnot.
Simply enjoying the act of running can be something that you can do all on its own. How many years will be taken off your life if you can't run 5 km a minute or two faster? If Betty can run 5 km in 25 minutes and you run it in 30 minutes, really, what's the big deal? If the both of you keep running similar paces for all of your lives, will you die 5 years before Betty?
No! the good thing is that because you ran 5 km for most of your life, your body will have gotten the benefits of decades' worth of exercise and it will probably add years to your life!
This is one of the most important running fitness tips I can give you and it is one of the core tenets of Easier Fitness. If becoming concerned about my times was causing me to find running to be less enjoyable, that wouldn't really appeal to me.
I love downhill skiing. I absolutely love it. But after taking some courses on how to improve my technique, I found myself more concerned about my form and what I was doing wrong. Were my legs where they were supposed to be? Did I turn my body the right way? Am I leaning forward enough? It took some of the fun out of it for me. I didn't have that same sense of exhilaration that I had in the beginning.
I think enjoying what you do is very important to life satisfaction and overall health in general. And I don't think enough of us enjoy what we do. It's estimated that roughly 70% of the population is disengaged at work. And 80% of the population is estimated to have "chronic seriousness". I have another page on this website about chronic seriousness and how it can creep into your life. You can read more about "chronic seriousness" by clicking here.
Another one of the running fitness tips I'd like to offer you is in a similar vein and deals with how hard you should exert yourself.
Some people exercise so hard that they vomit. People run so hard that they curl up into the fetal position afterwards and wait for the pain to stop. People collapse after running a marathon. Something about that just doesn't sit well with me.
I'm all for striving to do your best, giving 100% effort and not having any regrets, but I think vomiting can't be healthy.
Dr. Daniel Amen, a famous brain expert in the United States, in his book "The Brain Warrior's Way: Ignite Your Energy and Focus, Attack Illness and Aging, Transform Pain into Purpose" states that he doesn't believe in suffering. He says you shouldn't have to suffer needlessly, like some endurance athletes, and that it can be detrimental to your body. The extra stress that exerting yourself too hard puts on your body just isn't worth it.
A healthy balance of pushing yourself in the "good pain" range and not entering the "bad pain" range is what you should be shooting for.