Congratulations if you have just completed your first 10K or half-marathon at the Brooks Run on Sunday ! 🙂 A FEW tips here if you are new to running, still clueless upon crossing that finish line, apart from being happy and satisfied, of what made you finish the run !!!!!
When you can’t find any reason of why did you decide to give running a go, or why did you pick up those pair of trainers is again, most probably its your body telling you that it is a NEED for you to be active, sporty and healthy once again. It’s what you can do to your body to keep it going, not what it can do to you.
The human is like a four-stroke engine fueled by faith. The 4 cylinders, or aspect of human which keeps us going; mental, behaviour, physiological and spiritual. Each interconnects to each other, and each is interdependent of one another. What motivated YOU to take up this mission of becoming a healthy and sporty person, is, perhaps, because you think and know that you are up to it, you know you are able to, you ARE capable as your current health does not restrict you to, and of course, another step deeper, because you believe that health is YOUR responsibility and that you will be questioned later on by God if you have not taken the necessary in order to take care of it. Whatever your motivation is, lets make this decision to be sporty and healthy a good one, not only for yourself, but for those around you. Who knows, you will eventually become THE motivation for others to start running !
3. Know your body
No matter how ‘recreational’ or ‘serious’ you will be taking this sports, you should learn to get to know your body. The body consist of 2 parts, anatomical and physiological. Unless you are currently undergoing a medical degree, there is more benefit than harm to start reading on your anatomy basics, as well as your musculo-skeletal physiology. It is nothing over the top, as it is the only thing that can help you relate to what goes on beneath that layer of epidermis.
It will definitely make more sense when you finally ask yourself, hey, why am I cramping? Why is my knee in pain ? Why the tight hammies? The answer is right there IF you have got your anatomy basics right. Have no fear as there are plenty of reliable sources on the net that will guide you through. You don’t necessarily have to go for the thick Gray’s Anatomy, or Moore and Dalley’s. But if you insist, go ahead ! 🙂
4. Family and friends support
Wouldn’t it be fun to have your family members and friends support you for what you are doing? (instead of being made fun of!) Worry not, you ARE on the right track. Just that communication plan has to be in place in order for your family members, friends (or even colleagues, if you care enough..) to understand that your health is as important as theirs. Your health means you can keep healthy to take care of your family, watch the kids grow up strong, like you 🙂 Better still, invite your wife, hubby, or kids to join you for your runs. There are many running events which offers categories for children. I have seen many young families who have taken this step early. You will know what I mean when you see somebody running with a stroller (with a baby in it of course) around the park , or even at your next 10k run ! There are uncountable advantages that you have compared to your colleagues who cares less about their health.
Doesn’t it alarm you to see that overweight guy in your office.. His size aside,he eats nasi lemak for breakfast, everyday, sometimes replaced by a hot dog bun with chilli and mayo on top, then later goes around other colleague’s cubicles to snack on whatever.. * i.e. an office mate just came back from Australia.. chocolate and candies is a must souvenier.. and hence..i say no more.. 10.30am , he goes out for a smoke.. Lunch time, is either rice again, or lamb steak.. and the cycle continues.. Don’t you feel sorry? And yet, the second you approach the matter, this person gives you that ‘look’ that he cares not !
So again, start with yourself and your family. In Islam, family is the fundamental unit of the society. Everything starts within the family. So does health education. So does health awareness. Have your family support, or share the awareness with them. It is never too late for an elder brother of 40-something to start running. 50-something even ! In Onn’s case (a running friend), 60-something !! Ultimately, picking up running is NOT about scoring PBs. In the serious nut cases, fine, it is not JUST about scoring PBs. It is more than that.
5. The right gears
Now you know that it is just another NEED, justified by MOTIVATION, enhanced by KNOWLEDGE, and made more meaningful through the SUPPORT of your loved ones and friend, it is…time… to know what sort of apparels and running gears that you may need. I will make it very brief.
– running shoes
– comfortable and light apparels (i.e. drifit tee, running pants/shorts/tights)
– a watch (to keep time!)
– a bottle of water
And hey, you’re ready to go.
*There are plenty of accessories/gadgets that runners nowadays love to have and rely on they can almost fit into a tool box strapped to their backs (nah, just joking !). That one later okayy.
Multiple goals are normally set once you consider yourself runner. Depending on how primitive your motivation for running is, you MAY find other runners having the goal of collecting as much medal that their wardrobe can fit. Or.. that goal to beat another runner at every run he or she sees that runner in. Hook or by crook, there is no way that runner can cross the finish ahead of him..
Goals are personal, and it is your every right to set what sort of goal that you want to achieve, that it achievable. As long your goals and the means to achieve them doesn’t hurt or kill you, as long as it doesn’t temper with the support (and passport slash VISA) that your family and spouse, go ahead. It is your call. But of course, some tips from missjewelz
1) set smaller goals, which you can measure its successful outcome easily within a duration of time
2) increase your goals by quality (i.e. better time time for a 10K event) rather than quantity (i.e. to do 3 10Ks, 2 1/2 Marathons and 1 Marathon by next year)
3) gradually increase your running event distances. Upgrade consistently but not frequently to secure the quality and value gained from training for a certain event. (i.e. from s 5K to a 10K to a 12K to a 15K.. then from a 1/2 Marathon, to a Full Marathon..). Again, there is no exact time frame to do this. It depends on how much quality training you put when training for a certain even for you to be ready for the next upgraded one..Some runner don’t find it a need to rush into a full marathon while some can’t wait to be called an ultra. Remember, your choices and how you achieve them defines what you are.
7. Determination and perseverance
It becomes a mental game in the end for most us runners. To give in, to step out, to give up, to hold on, to stay put. Running, then, becomes a game, almost like a play ground. Sometimes you go for the swing, sometimes for the slide, or simply running in circle.. Or perhaps the see-saw. Up and down. No matter what it is, you still end up wanting to run. Hey, bravo !! That’s the spirit. “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance.” H. Jackson Brown . Determination and perseverance is the creme de la creme of all human behaviour psychologically speaking.
The last photo above is an example, of how an instant almost intuitive gesture to pick up running ended up with coupling something that you love to do (running in this case) with a noble cause. In the above event, it was the ‘To Japan With Love’ charity for the Japan tsunami in conjunction of Sundown Ultramarathon. My team and I was honoured to receive the presence of the Deputy Chief of Mission of Embassy of Japan to the cheque presentation ceremony.
On that note, a running friend, Karen Loh is organizing a trail run happening on the 28th of April 2012, in the cause of increasing awareness of the Orang Asli. Click here for more details. Feel free to join whether as a participant or volunteer !!!