Want to run? Here’s how to start from scratch

The world is clearly divided on the matter of running – some hate it, others love it. While some would do the harshest of dead lifts to dodge their trainer’s mandate to run on the treadmill, others would rather be running than doing anything else inside the gym (and even outside). Differences aside, running is one of the most effective cardio exercises and going by the term ‘runners high’, it is indeed one that gives a high adrenaline rush too.

Now if you happen to be a beginner and are seriously considering running the marathon, don’t jump the gun. You have to first learn about the correct running posture and then prepare yourself to run the marathon. We spoke to Daniel Vaz, NRC (NIKE Run Club) coach to learn the basics.

Running posture: Dos and don’ts

DO NOT LAND ON THE HEELS: When you run, your feet go through immense pressure. For example, in a minute, a runner strides 60 times on one foot at a force, which is 3-4 times your body weight. Now if you land on your heel, the same pressure travels up your spine sending high shock waves. It is always recommended to land on midfoot or forefoot. This helps your leg muscles to handle the pressure.

DON’T LEAN FORWARD: When you are running, stay upright. Imagine a string attached to your chest, which goes up to a tree top. This will give you a feeling of constantly being pulled up. Do not hunch as it can make you susceptible to injury.

DON’T OVER STRIDE: When you are running, your foot should land directly below your hips. If you overstride, your foot will land in front of the body with an exaggerated heel jerk and knees that are almost straight. This is an inefficient way of running.

TUCK YOUR ELBOWS IN: Some people aggressively swing their arms across their torso while running. Little do they realize that they waste a lot of movement with this swinging. Instead they should tuck their elbows in to save that energy.

Exercises to prepare for running

When you are preparing yourself to run a marathon, you should alternate running and training days. If you are just starting your running journey, it’s good to combine jogging/running and body weight training on alternate days. If you are just starting, follow this – “First jog and let your heart rate peak. Once you are completely out of breath, walk to catch up on your lost breath, then jog again. Start with 20 minutes and go up as you feel ready.”

Here are some exercises you should do:

High knees
Butt kick
Power skip
Stiff legged movement
Squat jumps
Hamstring kick outs aka monster walks


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