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Running coach shares dos and don’ts of running (with tips for beginners) – Times of India

Running coach shares dos and don’ts of running (with tips for beginners) – Times of India

Running as an exercise gained a lot of popularity during the pandemic. Running apps reported a surge in downloads and registrations. Among the many advantages of running is the opportunity to experience the runner’s high. Runners experience peace of mind with the running movement, along with a sense of power, and feel connected to everyone and everything! Runners don’t need much equipment and can go at their own pace. On the occasion of Global Running Day, we spoke to Gagan Arora, Coach, Garmin Run Club & Founder of Kosmic Fitness to learn about the biggest running trends, mistakes runners often make and the right training required by runners. Here’s a lowdown of the chat

What are some of the biggest running trends you have seen?
Fitness watches, shoes, glares, and apparel have all captured a sizable market in the running community. Most importantly, the running watch you wear should display all the matrices you need to improve every day! Obtaining insights from your workouts such as heart rate, pace, cadence, and stride length, as well as other health-related data such as sleep, breath per minute, all-day stress levels, and recovery time after each workout, is important if you want to improve your running and overall well being. There are watches like Garmin that can help you track and analyse your running progress and health. I always suggest my athletes keep a check on their daily resting heart rate, body battery and recovery time. This ensures you are recovering well in between the sessions and are not overdoing it.

What are some of the biggest running mistakes?
There are primarily 5 mistakes that runners commit.

Too many expectations are too quick- Getting into the groove of running and running too much too soon with friends and mentors is so much easier than understanding the scientific progression techniques and amount of overload your body can take on a weekly basis.
Ignoring Strength & Flexibility Exercises – Most beginners possess years or maybe decades of inactivity and suddenly start running miles. One must incorporate mobility/ flexibility and strength sessions in a weekly plan before overloading their skeleton with thousands of steps per run.

Missing Warmup Drills & Cool down Stretches – Stepping out of the door of your home or car and starting running is not advisable. One must do some dynamic stretches or few walking drills like high knees/ butt kicks / hip rotations / heels & toe raises / spinal bends and rotations before starting the run. Even one run session without warmup can be a root cause of a prolonged running injury. Cooling down by easy jog / walking for 5-10mins post run makes sure your heart rate has come down close to resting levels. Do Perform some static stretches for hips / calves / spine & shoulders before calling it a day.

Faulty Footwear- I am not a fan of too much cushion or too much support but there are shoes in the market which cater to a wide variety of feet humans have so better ask an expert which shoe you should be wearing and for how long. Do work on your foot strength and foot mobility on a daily basis to be a better and more mindful runner. Try to do some barefoot jog on grass as warm up to practice soft landing (#1 Running Drill)

Nutrition- I will never put kerosene in my Ferrari. If you are struggling for fat loss, improved running economy, better pace at lower heart rate, less fatigue, faster recovery, more strength, less inflammation, better sleep etc. Along with your running plan you must keep a tab on what you are putting into your mouth. Every food should help you to move one step closer to your goal. Many of you have heard “You run so much you can eat anything” it’s totally opposite of what you should be doing.

What sort of training is important to get the most from running?
Balance is the key almost everywhere. As a rule of thumb 80:20 works best when we come to running where 80% of mileage/time should be spent on low to moderate aerobic work and 20% of time/mileage/interval training to be done in higher zones, Zone 4-5 Is ideal for many. One should never underestimate the benefits of low-intensity training and should stick to it for the longest period of the year. For best results, one should hire a certified and experienced coach online or on the ground who can tailor their running plans as per their current fitness levels & personal abilities.

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What are the top 3 tips for beginners?
Smaller daily steps lead to bigger goals. To ensure a long injury-free running career, walk more, run less at first, and focus on mobility and strength early on. To begin, run/jog 2-3 times per week and walk on the other days. Begin with short intervals of 1 minute run and 2 minutes’ walk, gradually increasing to 4 minutes run and 1 minute walk to build stamina for longer distances. Progression is essential; shortening the rest time and increasing the run time should not occur in the same workout. Perform at least three successful workouts with 6-8 repetitions before adjusting the interval time. Drink a glass of lemon water 20 minutes before your run and sips of water/electrolytes in between the run & never go dehydrated. One should be able to sip water at regular intervals while jogging as once you begin a strenuous activity, the demand on the body multiplies manyfold. Water is an important factor in keeping the blood fluid and heart rate lower, so every beginner should follow and adhere to a thumb rule of drinking sips of water every 5-7 minutes of activity, whether walking or jogging.


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