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Running - Where to Start, Pt 1 - Introduction

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Running - Where to Start, Pt 1 - Introduction

May be you've read Born to Run, seen the Olympics, or been inspired by what you've read in Men's Health or Runners World. You feel invigorated by the thought of running gracefully, unlocking your inner strength / endurance athlete. You've seen people wear funky Vibram FiveFinger shoes, and you know someone who never gets's injured. Perhaps you regularly go to the gym or achieve high levels in competition but just can't shake those recurring injuries which are guaranteed to raise their head at a certain mileage or intensity. Where do you start?

In a series of articles to be put out over the coming months, I hope to provide some insight into the next steps I took in order to run well and get healthy and get stronger. I plan to condense a huge amount of experimenting and reading I've done over the years. These articles, part one to four will serve as a summary of how to become a healthier and a stronger more efficient runner.

I'll be discussing topics such as what shoes to wear, how to begin running without pain, how to become more mobile, what do we mean by aerobic speed, the distinction between 'fit' and 'healthy', how to evaluate your body’s signals, which authors you should read, debunking myths and also providing insight into the pitfalls and successes I've had.

I'm by NO MEANS the finished article. I've a plethora of books to read, moves to learn, bad motor patterns to unlearn, mobility issues to resolve, but I'm a different beast to Paul mark 1. (Read my story Here)

My overriding thoughts are: health is a right; morbidity and pain are not necessary and sufficient conditions of ageing. True health takes focus and time, and pain is never good, despite being celebrated in the fitness world as a mark of effort. Yes, push yourself, yes get that heart of yours beating harder, but ignore the ads with a no pain no gain philosophy. If you are experiencing pain, whether it's in your hip, knee, ankle, heart or back whilst exercising then it's not because you aren't built for it, it’s because you are doing something wrong. How you work out what is wrong is the real challenge, but one that if solved can free you.

Dan John, acclaimed strength coach, has the great retort when someone says he or she can't squat because it hurts:

"Squats don't hurt, the way YOU squat hurts!"

The take home of this is if you change the way you do things you can change the way you feel and perform. Your health is in your hands.

The next in the series:

Part two

Part three

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