On the Right Track

Regardless of your age or fitness level, running can be an exhilarating and a relatively cheap way to improve your fitness levels. Ray Bienedell, group operations director for Run/ Walk for Life, says more South Africans have taken up running in the past year.

“With so many different forms of running on offer there is a race to suit everyone’s preference. Participating in races is more fun and adventurous that slogging it out on a treadmill. It’s also a great way to enjoy beautiful surroundings.”

Park Runis a global initiative that encourages runners of every skill level to participate in weekly, 5km timed runs. As a proud partner of this programme, Dis-Chem believes it is a great way to live healthier.

“It’s a brilliant concept for a novice as it can be non-competitive if you choose. It’s also safe, free and the distance of 5km is manageable for most,” says Bienedell.

HOW TO PREP FOR A 10KM RACE

Making the progression from a novice runner to completing a 10km race can seem challenging but it’s possible with just a few weeks of training and preparation.

Bienedell offers the following tips for runners looking to take their running to the next level:

Shoes:

Each foot type requires a different kind of shoe. Find a specialist sports store such as The Sweat Shop or Runner Group and have their staff assist you to ensure the shoes are a proper fit.

Normal or medium arch:This is the most common foot type and most runners with this pattern can wear just about any shoe.

Flat or low arch:If you have a low arch, it’s likely that your foot collapses inward when you run which may cause stress on your feet and knees. It is recommended to wear shoes with more stability, such as internal wedges that build up the arch side or shoes with more substantial midsoles.

High arch:If you have a high arch, your foot may not absorb much shock. It is advisable to wear a well cushioned shoe with little or no arch support or stability features.

Diet:

Carbohydrates are important for energy but stay away from refined carbs such as pies and pastries. It’s crucial to stay hydrated and eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. Healthy fats are also important for fuel.

Motivation:

Keep a logbook where you set and track your goals. Run with a friend or join a group or club for moral support. Always run at your own pace.

Technology:

There are a number of smartphone apps available to track your progress, speed and distance. Bienedell suggests free apps such as Endomondo, Strava, Runtastic, Nike, Map my Run, Sports Tracker and Runkeeper.

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