|Running. You either love it or you hate it, right? Not necessarily. I found running difficult and a chore when I first starting doing it regularly. I knew from advice that I needed to stick at it and as time passed it would become easier.|
I was skeptical, as I always am, but followed the advice because the friend who told me as an accomplished triathlete and knew his stuff.
The way the body works when you run is as follows:
- It learns to use less fuel (for survival) for the same distance as you become more efficient. This is when you may start to feel things get a little easier – i.e. you may lose a little weight, your breathing becomes easier, your mechanics get better.
- Your body actually creates new blood capillaries so that the oxygenated blood can get the the extremities of the body for more efficient cooling and oxygenation. This is why your Vo2 Max (a measure of fitness) improves because your body is adapting to the running stimulus and becoming more efficient at it.
- You may even start to get the ‘runners’ high which is the endorphins kicking in which have a pain killer effect which is quite a nice feeling and why some athletes actually become addicted to it, similar to caffeine though you’ll need more and more to get the same ‘hit’.
2019 is another opportunity to take up this great activity because it can be social, fun, energising, and keeps you fit and healthy along the way. Whether you are keen on getting to 5k or running an ultra marathon there is always something for everyone young and old.
I have put together a short list of some local and out of town (Auckland) running events some of which I have done and some I have not, so have a look and why not give one or 2 of them a go?
RUN #1: Coastal Challenge – March 2nd
This is an iconic event as you get to run the east coast of Auckland’s coast line. You can run or walk various distances so don’t be afraid to get your feet wet so you can can you covered some of the east coast to Devonport in this amazing event.
RUN #2: Tauranga Half – May 14th
This I haven’t run but I imagine it is pretty flat but beautiful. Well worth a weekend away out of Auckland so you can take in the view and sea at the Mount and Tauranga. There are of course the 10k and 5k options at these events so take the whole family and enter different distances.
RUN #3: Waiheke Half – May 4th (be with you!)
Another I haven’t done and this one also has a 15k on top of the usual 10k and 5k options which gives you plenty of options depending on where your running distance is up to come May time. Could be another nice weekend away with the family which is somewhere far enough out of Auckland that you quickly forget that you are only 45-60 mins away in reality.
RUN #4: Xterra (Series) – biweekly from May 19th – Sept 1st
The Xterra series is really well run and gives you lots of variety as well as distances. If you want a challenge over winter to keep up your fitness then this is the perfect option. I have run about 2 or 3 of these over the years and found them challenging but rewarding. Mostly off road runs they take in country side you may not otherwise visit unless you are a die hard off road runner. You can sign up for the series and grab some great deals on gear and merchandise or just jump in and out of the ones you prefer, which I did. Shakepeare was by far my favourite. Depending on distance there are some similarities to the coastal challenge and the views from the top there back to the city are stunning.
RUN #5: Tough Guy and Gal (Rotorua) – August 24th
This is a bit of a family favourite in our household now. I have been running this since 2009 and still have not lost the bug!! Each year I invite whoever will come with me to Rotorua for a fun weekend away running in mud and swimming in thermally heated pools while invariably watching the All Black test that weekend. Lots of fun, great camaraderie among the runners on the day and a well organised event which enables you to get really muddy and not care!!!
If you are looking for the complete GO TO page for running (swim, multi) event here is the bible: RUNNING CALENDAR
Techique and Efficiency
If you have been a casual runner and want some assistance or you are a complete beginner and really want to get things right from the outset Fit 4 Life has the package for you. Technique analysis, programming for distance and correcting technique is what you get. This includes video analysis so you can see what may need to be adjusted for better bio mechanics. For more info on this have a read here.