Running isn’t my heart’s first desire when I’m getting in a sweat session, but I’ve decided to re-incorporate it into my weekly routine at just 20-30 minutes, repeating over 2-3 non-consecutive days for sake of increasing my conditioning (which ebbs and flows throughout each year depending on what my focus or goals might be; hence why you don’t see me looking lean as a bean 24/7/365). This isn’t replacing my 3-4 weekly workouts, but added to the days in between.
I’m not a treadmill fan, although I have been in the past (and would sprint my heart out like a hamster on a wheel until I realized clearing my head outdoors was so much more enjoyable for me), so pavement or a good running trail are my terrain of choice. Running solo is a great way to unravel my brain after a day or two of what I call go-mode, although I find I get the same benefit when I join Tyler on his runs because it’s so easy for us to just be and not feel the need to carry a continuous conversation. If you’re itching to get outdoors to unravel your own brain, walking, doing intervals, or cycling are also really great ways to do so while increasing your cardiovascular conditioning. If none of those options are appealing to you, pick another hobby that puts you into motion, outdoors. Even those who would call themselves the least athletic or active of all the land can benefit from spending a little more time outside making their bodies move.
Before I kick into run-mode, I always do a short and sweet warm up like a brisk walk moving into a few shallow walking lunges or something else that recruits my entire lower body; a slow jog for 10 seconds and moving back into a walk and repeating for a few minutes is also a great way to get things going. For me, 60-90 seconds is my sweet spot for a warm up, but others find that 3-5 minutes is most effective; just take the first few minutes of your cardio slow to avoid injury and get your blood pumping a little faster without skyrocketing your heart rate. I’ll also finish off the last few minutes with a cool down, which translates into a brisk walk down into a slower pace after a run.
A few things that help me enjoy my runs are well-fitted running shoes, fitted and comfortable clothing and having had a meal around an hour to two prior. Good quality running shoes matter and can make all the difference in comfort and avoiding injury, so avoid using ‘tennis shoes’ or athletic shoes that are not specifically running shoes – the technology is different, and they tend to be lighter weight than say a training shoe or some other tennis shoe style.
Remember to run responsibly, so avoid the classic phone-in-hand where you’ll be more likely to run into something, or be run into by something, which just sounds like a really bad day and that defeats the point of getting out there in the first place!
I’d love to hear how you enjoy your own runs (or walks, jogs, cycles or what have you), so leave a comment below!