Running is a miraculous fitness activity that improves all other fitness areas.

If you want to improve your fitness for grappling or boxing, then you can run as warriors had run for centuries. But, the reverse order doesn’t work – grappling and boxing will not improve your running. Running will improve your rowing and cycling too – but not the other way around. The health benefits of running are endless.

The human body is best designed for running because of its amazing mechanics like long legs and bigger glutes. If you’re aiming to improve your fitness and reclaim the most integral of human movements, you have to look forward to running. This doesn’t imply you need to go and chase down an antelope or run a marathon tomorrow. Focusing on your habits is more important than worrying about your outcomes. You can start small – focus on improving 1 percent each day.

But, how to start?

Start with walking and slow jogging for half an hour every day, which is a real and attainable goal. Set short term targets.

Once your body gets used to it then slowly increase the distance over the weeks.

As your aerobic endurance starts to build up, set your goal for a specific distance, and work towards the time goal.

During the initial phase of long-distance running, measure your runs by time and not by distance. If your goal is to run 10 km, work towards beating your own record for this distance.

Once you start beating your time goals and building enough endurance, go for the distance goals.

Runs end but running doesn’t

Be determined and stubborn once you have set the goal. Draw a structured running training plan with the help of a running coach and stick to it. Compete with yourself in every training run. Know your body and do what is right for it.

Train hard and rest well

There are two important things to keep in mind when you chalk out your running regime. Firstly, plan a day or two for strength training every week, which will improve your muscle endurance. Secondly, make sure you have at least one ‘rest day’ in a week to recover from fatigue. Learn how to run efficiently and avoid injuries, incorporate yoga and swimming in your training schedule once or twice a week.

What you eat, matters

What you eat is extremely important if you aim to be a long-distance runner.
Fuel your run with a good amount of carbs and nourish your body with healthy nutritious food. Do not ever starve. Just remind yourself to eat right whenever you take a bite. Strictly avoid junk and processed food. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, which means no late-night work or party. Get plenty of sleep and wake up fresh and strong for the early morning training.

Discipline is the key, always

Keep your running gear ready before you go to bed. Preparing in advance gives you the best chance to accomplish your goals. When the alarm goes off, get moving and run.

It takes time

Long-distance running is not something that you can do overnight. Be patient and learn how to avoid injuries. Bear in mind that overtraining often leads to injuries. Understand your body and push it accordingly.
Your life and your running have to be balanced. Every little thing you do is going to affect how you feel and how you run. If you have a stressful day in general, cut back on a run. Don’t force yourself to do something hard if you’re mentally/physically tired. You have to stop, think, and breathe. Little things make a huge difference.

Good gear for a good run

Be it the right running shoe or the right pair of track pants, every part of your gear impacts your run. When it comes to running shoes, I recommend ASICS GEL KAYANO-26. Its FLYTEFOAM Technology lets your feet breathe. Adidas and Nike also offer a nice range of running shoes.

Change your thinking about running. It’s not a ‘Stressor’. Look at it as a ‘Stress-reliever ‘. Let running make you ‘feel good’. You can’t conquer the world in one day, and no single workout is going to make you a superstar. It’s the accumulation of efforts over time– putting one foot ahead of the other. It all adds up, eventually. Good luck!

Deepa Nayak
Deepa Nayak | ASICS Running Coach | 9 years Ex. | 3rd Rank In PROCAM SLAM 2019-2020
Deepa Nayak, transformed her journey quite starkly. With her childhood witnessing no or very little trace of running to becoming a thriving running coach after growing up, it has been a long and incredible journey for her. She continues fuelling her love for the sport by coaching her fellow budding runners.
  • 6 years of running experience with 3 years of coaching experience
  • 2-time qualified runner for Boston Marathon
  • ACE certified personal trainer
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