‘yogging with a soft J”
Every year around May (July if you are from Northern Ontario and winter lasts 10 months-Story of my life) the streets are flooded with a plethora of fresh health enthusiasts turning the sidewalks into an interstate highway.
Personally, I’ve had a real On-Off relationship with jogging over the last 10 years. We’ve dated seriously for a few months then take an extended break with no-contact for half of the year. For a while, we would hook up for a single night on a whim, but as of late it has become much more structured. We date 1-2x / week and appreciate our time together much more.
In a lot of ways my relationship with running mirrors that of the North American Health and Wellness space. When exercise began gaining momentum in the modern era, aerobic fitness (specifically jogging), was the currency of the realm, the more miles you logged the better your health. The focus eventually shifted and we bought into the idea that it was horrible for your joints and would “make you slow”; interval work was thrust to the forefront. Since then I believe the consensus has found a healthier middle ground, we see the value in aerobic training but understand that it is also important to spend time on other activities.
Where on the spectrum does your running relationship rank? Are you a dedicated marathoner? An occasional guilty Monday jogger? Did you start last month when the weather warmed up? Do you fall somewhere in between? No matter your running marital status the three tips below are guaranteed to improve your Running Relationship.
Warm Up –
Everyone who participates in some form of exercise knows the value of warm up, it has been mentioned in every gym class, soccer practice and group fitness session. Yet, the number of people who actually take the time to complete a proper warm-up is alarmingly low.
A warm-up serves multiple purposes, it raises our core temperature and activates the proper muscle groups but more importantly, it decreases our risk of injury. The goal of our training is to improve our quality of life not decrease it and an injury is never positive.
The three major components of a warm-up are below, check back later this week for a breakdown of each!
c. Dynamic Movement
Monitor Intensity / Volume –
I am not a great swimmer, I won’t drown if you were to toss me in a pool and I could struggle through a few laps but by no means am I podium worthy. I know that and should I spontaneously decide I want to swim across the English Channel (which will never happen) I wouldn’t pretend that I was immediately ready. Running is no different yet people who haven’t run in 10 years believe they can handle the distance and duration of their younger self. Take your time, start slowly and build up progressively. A universal rule in the running community is 10 percent. Don’t increase your volume by more than 10 percent per week, staying within this number should keep you relatively safe from injury.
A friend of ours owns a gym and one of their signature shirts has this quote across the back, “Being strong is never a weakness”. Perhaps not the most eloquently said but the core idea is solid. Having a basic level of strength is crucial to avoiding injury and improving performance in all aspects of life. You do not need to become a competitive powerlifter but if you refuse to spend time strength training you will eventually develop overuse injuries as a result of running’s repetitive nature.