In times of Corona gyms, clubs and other sport associations are unfortunately closed. So, when it comes to strength and fitness it comes down to workouts at home. In our last blog: DIY Strong Viking Fitness, we gave you five do-it-yourself tips for making weights and other fitness attributes to stay fit during these strange times. Have you started the strength workouts, but do you also want to maintain your cardio fitness? Do you still miss the right knowledge to go for a run or is motivation to go out the problem? We give you eight tips/tricks to improve your running motivation and get out for a workout!
Important! When running in open air, always observe the measures concerning the coronavirus (in your country/region) and always respect your own safety and the safety from others around you!
Besides the fact that running helps against stress and emptying your mind, it also improves your condition, your muscle mass, your endurance, your lungs and last-but-not-least your posture. The big advantage of running is that you don't need any attributes, you don't have to travel to the gym for it and you can do it any time of the day! Just put on your sports outfit when it suits you and you can start running immediately. The distance and time you want to run are also easy to estimate, especially if you are going to run more often. So, there is simply nothing easier than starting with running today.
With the Strong Viking Virtual Editions coming up (click here) you have a nice goal to train to. Our most important tip? Don't start too fast!
1. Correct (running) shoes
It will surprise you how many people start running without the right running shoes. The wrong shoes often lack in shock absorption. Sneakers for example, will not absorb any shocks in the right way, which will put too much strain on the knees and ankles. Especially with longer distances and/or running multiple times a week, this will increase the chance on injuries.
If you are planning to run more often through the city centre and/or on hard surfaces such as asphalt, it’s better to choose for real running shoes. Are you someone who prefers to go into the forest? Then it's advisable to choose for trail run shoes instead, as these give you more grip on slippery and uneven surfaces. You'll find that after running on trail run shoes on an off-road course, you'll have less muscle pain in the groin and/or legs since you'll have more grip and don't have to correct every step during your run. Big advantage of trail run shoes over running shoes is that you can also wear them during the Obstacle Run editions of Strong Viking! The grip gives a lot of advantage during obstacle running, for example in the kilometres of mud ;)!
You don't have to buy the most expensive running shoes in order to prevent injuries, as long as the shoes fits the surface and your long-term goal. You can always get advice from the sports specialist in your neighbourhood!
2. First the habit, then the stuff
How nice is it when your shirt perfectly matches your shorts, your watch with your running cap and your shoes with your sports socks? Of course, it's tempting to think that you automatically start running every day when you have the right equipment. However, this is a very expensive pitfall and before you know it, that perfectly matching sports outfit is tucked away at the bottom of the wardrobe.
In case you did run on a regularly base for the past three weeks and notice that you still like it. Then you can take a closer look at newest gear and/or extra items as a reward for your performance.
3. A proper warming up and cooling down
A good warm up is important! It ensures that your muscles are well prepared for the upcoming workout. Stretch the muscles of your legs beforehand, jog a bit and start walking before you slowly start running. TIP: Don't turn on your watch/mobile until the real workout starts. In this way you will not be pushed unconsciously to run for a good time!
When you are done running and you've reached your personal goal of that day, you can walk the last few hundred meters towards home and/or your car in case you travelled to the running location. Stretch your muscles before going in the house/car. This prevents muscle aches and pains, what will result in a lower chance of nasty injuries. It often helps to finish your route +/- 200 meters before your goal, then you give your body some extra time to walk and get rested before stopping.
4. Don't start too fast/hard!
A common mistake with (starting) runners is that they ask too much of themselves. For example, you haven't done any sports for a while, but you used to be able to run fast and long. Don't overestimate yourself and start from the beginning again. This is the only way for your body to get used to the shocks of running and (re)building your condition. Are you starting too fast? Then there is a big chance of injuries. You must prevent this at all costs! Give your body the chance to get used to the change. Start with a short route and make each session a little longer. Do you notice that you have trouble during one of the sessions? It's not a problem to walk a bit, as long as you don't push yourself to hard! Do you have muscle pain from an earlier running session? Then don't start running on that day, but postpone your workout for another day in order to prevent your body for overburden.
By taking it easy, your body will get slowly used to receive shocks and your muscles and tendons will become stronger. Are you overweighed? Consider losing a few pounds first by adjusting your diet and by other ways of exercise such as regular walking, cardio training or swimming. This way your body gets used to the change as well. If walking goes well, start by running just 1-2 minutes and build it up from there.
5. Be and stay hydrated!
If you work out, there's a big chance you're going to sweat as well. This means that your body loses moisture, which is essential for your muscles to function properly. If your body gets too dehydrated, it will acidify more quickly, reducing your performance and increasing the risk of cramping. Make sure you drink enough water before your workout. Are you planning a longer running session? Then consider bringing extra water with you. In sports stores, they have special running belts that you can wear around your waist to carry a few small bottles of water. This way you don’t have to hold a water bottle during your workout. Next to the fact that this doesn't run very comfortable, it will also warm up your water as your hands will radiate heat while running. Again, do not buy these extra’s until you run on a regular basis!
Directly after your workout, it is important to get hydrated by drinking some glasses of water. So don't go into the shower immediately after your workout, but catch your breath and first make sure you get enough water again.
6. Set a goal before you start
Don't go out the door before you have agreed on a goal and/or route with yourself. This doesn't have to be complicated, but a goal will help you to motivate yourself if you have a hard time along the way. By setting goals for yourself you will keep your running sessions fun and challenging and you will build up your running-strength faster. In case you are running on a long, straight road without an end and/or you are just halfway along your route when you feel the motivation flowing away, then it helps to set shorter 'intermediate' goals. This can be simple things such as the traffic sign at the end of the road, the left turn at the bakery etc. This will make it easier for you to reach your long-term goal. Examples of running goals that you can agree with yourself prior to your workout can be:
- “Today I want to complete this route"
- "I'm going to run for at least ten minutes without a break."
- "I want to finish last week's route in 30 minutes instead of 35."
7. Together you'll last longer
In times of Corona it is not recommended to play sports and/or be with bigger groups, so please follow these rules and don't do this! However, it often helps to run together with a friend, who is at approximately the same level as you. This ensures that when the motivation fades away, you still feel a social pressure to go! It is also nice to talk at times while running. If you can run and still talk a bit at the same time, your condition is at a good level. Training together towards a goal is contagious and you will notice that running is going to be a new kind of fun for you, instead of just having drinks in a bar. Pay attention, always keep the 1,5-meter rules/measures in mind and make sure you only pass others when you can keep this distance! Safety first!
8. Set your goal!
The most important tip of all: Set yourself an achievable goal! This could be: "I want to lose five kilos", but also a sporty goal like: "During the next Strong Viking Virtual Edition I want to be able to run 7km non-stop, without any breaks". Challenge yourself to take that extra step, achieving this goal will give a motivational boost to set your next goal!
Curious about the upcoming challenges/goals that Strong Viking is offering you? Check the calendar via the button below!