is one of my main and most enjoyable forms of exercise. I was on my 8th grade cross country team and my high school cross country team my sophomore
year, but had to leave because they told me to cut my hair. Facist Catholic hair police
got in my way a lot in high school.
I actually started running in 6th grade because I didn't want to wait for the bus, and buses here in San Francisco
can be very slow and irritating to deal with. I just didn't have the patience for it and I prefered the challenge and fun of running home. Many a time I ran alongside a bus and passed it, often catching the notice of a bus driver. Some tried to race me. It was all a lot of fun. Good memories.
Now, to turn this from a GTKY
node into something other people might benefit from
My advice to anyone who wants to start seriously running is as follows:
: Get a good pair of running shoes. Special shoes called running flats are often required on Cross Country teams but aren't necesary for recreational long-distance running. Something comfortable
with a thick enough sole to absorb the impact of your feet on the ground. Basketball
shoes are too big usually and that's when weight starts becoming a factor. I recommend the variety often called "cross-trainers". They tend to be midrange in terms of weight and tend to work well for long distance running.
The consequences of running without good shoes are fairly severe. You will
damage your knees. I say this because it's a simple equation. Too much shock
, not enough shock absorbtion and your joints will start to ache. This is an excellent way for a beginning runner to get discouraged and fear running.
: Long distance running is as much breath
ing as it is running. Oxygen
is your fuel when running. If you're breathing too sharply or not breathing deep enough it will begin to affect your running. Take deep breaths and don't be disouraged when your lungs start to tire. Do the best you can and do not let your breathing become that panicked, choppy, tired breathing it naturally wants to when you start getting tired. Practice deep breathing when you aren't running to expand your lung capacity.
: Don't. If you smoke cigarettes
you're already not the type of person to run long distances I imagine, but if you're thinking of getting more into exercise at all, quitting smoking is imperative
. As I said earlier, oxygen
is your fuel, you don't need to reduce your capacity for fuel
. It only hurts your ability to run. You just can't be a nicotine addict and a long distance runner. If anyone out there says they can, from personal experience, great, you're an idiot. Wait a few years.
is as much your enemy as anything else. Find an interesting place to run, in fact, find several. Run in places you'd never normally think to run, run to work, school
or wherever. You might need a shower or a change of clothes, but think ahead.
: There are a few different ways to look at stretching. Some people feel that too much stretching will reduce the benefits of a run. I personally am more worried about not stretching. If you don't stretch at all you WILL
hurt yourself. This too, is not a "maybe". It's a certainty. You will hurt yourself long before you reap any benefits of running. Do some basic leg stretches before you run. If you've been in any physical education
class you know what I'm talking about, I can't really explain too well with words here, but I think you get the idea. My advice in regards to the people who don't want to stretch too much, well, there is some sense in that. Don't get a massage or sit in a sauna or anything, but definitely get loose.