Running or jogging is one of the most common forms of exercise out there, and for good reason. It is an incredibly versatile, easily managed and tracked workout that can be adjusted to suit any individual’s fitness goals.
Many of my active friends are runners, and even I’ve tried my hand at it (whether I’ve succeeded is another matter entirely), and the real beauty of running as a form of exercise is that you don’t have to be any good at it to try it. There are so many different kinds of runners and running workouts that you can pick it up swiftly and tailor the workout to your needs.
Of course, running isn’t for everyone, but some form of running can benefit most people. Some prefer a slow, long jog while others prefer quick bursts of speed. There’s no right or wrong way to go for a run but different kinds will achieve different goals. Below are some examples of the different benefits to be had from various running workouts.
A Base Run
A base run is just a regular jog where you build up your aerobic capacity by maintaining an achievable speed. You can do these quite frequently as they aren’t meant to be too challenging and have the advantage of adding some decent cardio to your workout.
If you’re not feeling comfortable going for a full-on thirty-minute or more jog, you can still get a lot of the benefits of a base run by using it as a gentle warm-up before your workout. Hop on the treadmills at Beckwith for 5-10 minutes of gentle running before your class or weight training to boost your workout and improve your stamina. Even ten minutes a day on its own can make a huge difference to your overall well being!
Interval training is a workout which consists of bursts of high-intensity fast runs with slower recovery jogs. You may have heard of this with the growing popularity of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes (check out our class schedule!). While HIIT classes involve many different kinds of exercise, similar results can also be achieved in running alone.
Interval training has the effect of maximizing the aerobic and anaerobic benefits from the exercises. Because you’re pushing yourself harder during the high intensity intervals, but remaining active while you rest, you’ll improve your speed, endurance and your performance over time. This running workout is also more effective in terms of weight loss as you’ll burn more calories in less time than during a base run, for example.
Often confused with a base run, tempo runs are designed to help you maintain a do-able yet challenging pace in an attempt to build up your muscles and your endurance over time. This type of training can be especially useful for those training for long-distance runs, such as marathons, half-marathons and triathlons. However, the main goal of a tempo run is to increase your threshold (meaning that you can go longer before your muscles become tired) so whether you’re practicing for a 5K or a 30K, this workout is ideal for anyone seeking to push their limits!
Though sprinting is self-explanatory, it is often underrepresented as a running training among amateur runners. This is a huge shame as it has wide-reaching benefits and is something absolutely anybody can try their hand at, including novices, sprinters and long-distance runners! Sprinting builds up your muscles and enables you to increase your average running speed over time. Sprinting is also great for those looking to boost their endurance, as your body will be able to achieve more without tiring, so don’t underestimate the benefits of this particular workout!
These are only a few of the many, many different kinds of training runs that anybody and everybody can incorporate into their workout. Personally, I can fall out of the habit of running regularly very easily and though it is always a lot harder to re-start running after a hiatus than maintaining it as a habit (if only I could remember this ahead of each break…), it is a form of exercise that I nevertheless consistently return to as it is one where you see good results quickly and without a major effort. In my experience, once I re-start it only takes two to three runs before I start to feel the benefits of the exercise again.
Many people are put off of running for various reasons, ranging from, “my body type isn’t suited to the exercise,” to “I feel uncomfortable when I run.” Don’t worry about it! We’ve all been there.
First of all, if you’ve tried running and simply didn’t enjoy it, then don’t force yourself to restart something you know doesn’t work for you. At Beckwith Health Club, we’ve got lots of great equipment and classes available which can help you to achieve your fitness goals!
Secondly, if you’ve never been much into running and are trying to find your way into it now, you may have to accept that it could be an uncomfortable experience at first as your body isn’t used to the exercise. Again, don’t worry about it! Running is a very physical exercise and it’s important to make sure that you are comfortable while doing it and importantly, that you’re not causing yourself any harm.
You can ask any of the staff at our gym for running tips, from posture to pace, and they’ll be more than happy to help you out. Even small things such as looking ahead, landing midfoot and relaxing your hands can make a massive difference to the quality of your run.
Lastly, make sure that you’re outfitted right for the workout. Different people have different preferences when it comes to running gear: some opt for leggings, others for loose shorts, others for tight running shorts. For women, make sure your sports bra is well-fitted to make the run as comfortable as possible. Find what’s right for you (don’t forget to check out the Beckwith Health Club shop for some great workout gear)! Also, don’t forget that the shoes can make or break a run: find the best pair for you in terms of fit and purpose (our team can help you figure out what type of shoe will suit you best).
Now that you’re all set for your run, why not start now? Looking forward to seeing you practice your pace at Beckwith Health Club!