Running has its fair share of benefits, yet it can be a daunting task for someone who is unfamiliar and inexperienced with it. Are you completely new to running? Did you previously run and wish to return to running? Are you scared of injuring yourself? Do you feel anxious joining a club with lots of new members? Do you think you are not good enough to run? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please read on and we might just be able to help you with this.
I am Dave, a physiotherapist based at UFIT Clinic Orchard. In the coming few weeks we will be adding a beginners running club to UFIT’s extensive repertoire of Bootcamps - RUNFIT. I am hoping to put your mind at ease by giving you some information on these common statements. These are comments we hear daily both in the physiotherapy clinic and across the UFIT community.
1. I am not good enough to run
Everybody can run. You may not be able to run for long or for far at the moment, but the human body is made to run. As is the same with any activity it takes time and patience to become a regular runner. If you build slowly you will be surprised what you can achieve. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Under the supervision of the UFIT Bootcamp we hope to give you the knowledge, education and training to bring running into your lifestyle.
2. I used to run and want to return but I am not as good as I used to be
Leave your ego and worries at the door. As with anything in life if you don’t use it, you lose it. The key thing to remember is you can get it back again – with time and dedication. Have patience and don’t be too harsh on yourself. Your old timings and pace may be better, but age is not always the only variable. You may have had more time in your life and running took a higher priority or you may have chosen to work at a different aspect of fitness that doesn’t carry over to running.
As we get older careers and family move up the list of priorities. That doesn’t mean running cannot be enjoyable. If you do still have that competitive side and the key components are put in place there is still a very good chance you could beat those old timings as more often than not improvements can be made and age is just a number.
3. I am scared of injuring myself
As a physiotherapist I hear this time and time again, “Running is bad for the knees”, “Running is bad for my spinal discs.” Either of these sound familiar? The reality is they are both based on theory and not evidence. There is no concrete evidence that backs up these theories, but they have been perpetuated over time.
Running is the same as any other activity. If you do too much, too soon you will increase the chance of injury. That doesn’t mean running is bad it just means you have to be sensible. Our aim will be to slowly increase the load through your muscles and joints, thus reducing the chance of getting injured. In fact, the latest evidence is showing that running could be good for knee joint health. There are also components to your training that can reduce your chance of injury such as strengthening areas that contribute to running.
4. I am anxious about joining a running club
We all get nervous with something new in our lives, unless we are superhuman. RUNFIT will take on the same mantra as the UFIT brand, and therefore we are looking to build a community - a community of runners who will help, encourage and support each other. We will also try to make this learning environment fun! Ever had those times when the nerves leading up to the event were far worse than the actual event? That’s because our own thoughts and feelings get in the way of helping us develop both physically and mentally. Where the magic happens is outside of your comfort zone!
5. I don’t think I am good enough to run yet
Who are you comparing yourself to? Are you already instilling self-doubt? When you first learnt to ride a bike and when you fell, the likelihood is you were encouraged to get back on it. The aim of RUNFIT is to enable anybody to run, no matter where their starting ability is at. Everyone is an individual and some people are faster and some are slower. Don’t compare yourself to others. Arrive at the door with an open mind. An open mind to improve in time, no matter how long that time frame is. Running is a skill and skill takes time to develop.
I hope these help put your mind at ease. This blog is aimed at moving you along the cycle of change. Moving from contemplation to action. Next week we will be sharing some tips for those of you looking to run your first 5km race, so stay tuned!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With a love for sport and exercise from an early age, Dave is a UK qualified physiotherapist from Cardiff University with a previous degree in Sport Science. Prior to working as a medical professional Dave spent six years working in the health and fitness industry. He is also an avid athlete with experience in football, marathons, cycling sportives, and triathlons.