Hardly any other sport is as uncomplicated and effective as running: it doesn’t cost much, is very easy and you can run just about anywhere. Running can be taken up at any age, either alone or in a group. In addition, it is an effective form of training for the cardiovascular system. Running for just half an hour four times a week is enough to achieve an above-average fitness level in a very short time. Furthermore, jogging melts away subcutaneous fat and ensures a good mood, self-confidence and stress reduction. So it’s no wonder that around eleven million Brits aged between 18 and 55 have discovered running and are keeping themselves healthy and fit (Forsa survey on behalf of FIT FOR FUN).
Feel like running? If you are over 35 or have taken a long break from jogging, you should first have a check-up with a doctor. And even when he/she gives you the OK: Start slowly. At first, it is best to alternate between jogging and walking.
The perfect running outfit is based on the onion principle: Wear several thin layers of clothing, take off a layer when you need to and tie it around your waist. When buying the shoes, you should get advice from an expert in a specialist sports shop. The correct running shoe for you depends on your weight, height, your individual running style and your preferred running surface. Your foot type is another decisive factor in the choice of running shoe.
Jogging correctly really means trotting along at a comfortable pace. After all, you’re not trying to break a record, but rather do something for your well-being and your health. This works much better at a comfortable pace. A heart scan or performance diagnostics can determine your individual training pulse – gyms can provide this service. You can also use the rule of thumb “180 minus your age”. For example, the pulse of a 40-year-old should therefore be approximately 140 beats per minute during training. If you train without a heart rate monitor, you should always be able to hold a conversation with ease while jogging.
You think that the more you jog, the fitter you’ll be? Unfortunately, that’s only true up to a point. Training too often makes you tired. Your performance level falls rapidly, putting you at risk of overloading your musculoskeletal system. From one week to the next, you should try not to increase your workload by more than ten per cent. It is particularly important to give your body sufficient time to regenerate. If your nose is running and your limbs are aching - it’s better to miss a few training sessions.
Every runner has experienced a troublesome stitch at some time. This sharp pain under the costal arch always occurs after the blood supply to the diaphragm has become inadequate due to the physical exertion. Weak abdominal muscles or a full stomach can exacerbate it. But there is a proven antidote: Stand still and breathe into your abdomen. Press your hand on the painful spot and let go as you breathe out. Continue running slowly. Breathe out strongly and deliberately as the leg on the non-painful side makes contact with the ground.
When running, enormous forces are at work on the tendons, ligaments, joints and bones. If there is additional stress due to incorrect footwear, insufficient stretching, over-exertion or injury to the stressed body regions, a weak spot can develop. For many runners, this is usually the Achilles tendon or the knee.
As knee injuries are a common injury among runners, it has even been given its own name: runner’s knee. In an acute case, you should first of all rest and cool the painful knee. Many runners find that wearing a medical support such as the Genumedi helps to make the knee feel more comfortable. It stabilises the joint and has a positive effect on perfusion and swelling. In order to prevent future knee problems, it is advisable to increase the amount of training on a gradual basis and to avoid hilly areas. In addition: Strengthen and stretch your thigh muscles! Anti-inflammatory medicines also help to reduce the pain.
Another typical runner’s injury is achillodynia, a pain syndrome affecting the Achilles tendon. To allow rapid healing of the strong, long tendon between the calf muscles and the heel bone, it is extremely important that it is protected and relaxed. The elastic Achilles tendon support Achimed from medi aids this process. Two separate heel wedges correct the foot position and take the weight off the Achilles tendon. The support is so soft in the tensioned area that it is still comfortable to wear even when performing activities while seated. In addition, the supporting fabric and the silicone pad massage the affected area and reduce swelling. The Clima Comfort knitted fabric ensures that perspiration is immediately wicked away to the outside of the fabric.
In principle, you can easily avoid problems with your Achilles tendon by ensuring that you wear good shoes. Always warm up thoroughly before running and perform gentle stretching exercises. Make sure that you have a good rollover on your foot and avoid any abrupt stress such as jumping.