The 6-week guide to running
Start training now
How often have you sworn to go on a daily run but given up only after two days? We get it, it’s embarassing to be red-faced and out of breath after only a few meters (read these 10 myths about running). That’s why we’ve enlisted Ayesha Billimoria (you’ll remember her from here) to get you started. When she isn’t playing captain to the Adidas’ Running Club (Mumbai), the national-level sprinter is posting easy fitness tutorials on Instagram (@FitGirl.India). If her chiseled abs (or a new fit kit) haven’t motivated you to start running already, let’s break it down in calories. On an average, you burn off half a dozen donuts (over 2,000 calories) while running a full marathon.
Now that we’re on the same page, make sure you follow her six-week running program – you’ll be ready just in time of the Mumbai Half Marathon on Aug 21.
Here’s how you can get started:
Week 1: Learn to run
It sounds silly, right? Everyone can run, but Ayesha says it’s time to relearn “to undo the damage done by years of sitting and poor posture”. That’s the best wau to avoid injury when running long distances. “It is very important to understand the physical trauma that you are going to put your body through,” she says. “During my 17 years of track and field experience one of the most important things I learnt is how the correct form can avoid injury. It also helps you run faster and go longer distances with ease.”
Try Ayesha’s ‘run from your hips’ technique
First, imagine you’re sitting on a high stool. Then soften your knees and start walking with a little bounce in your feet, like basketball players. Slowly move into a jog and now imagine your butt is resting on a chair (just a slight bit). Now, listen to the sound your feet are creating; if it’s noisy you’re overusing the knees. Confused? Ayesha always tells her trainees to use their entire leg to run (from your hip bone to your knees) and not the lower limbs (knees to ankles).
Don’t be awkward about your arms – just swing them to match your stride, not faster. And don’t fuss on your breathing right now, simply inhale and exhale with each step and focus on your form.
If this is your first run, Ayesha recommends you start with a walk-jog (a 2-minute jog followed by a 1-minute walk) and slowly progress to 5 minutes (with a 1 minute walk). The idea is to build cardiovascular strength, hence less walking more jogging. Do not try to go too fast just relax, and enjoy the fact that you can run.
Check in next week as Ayesha takes us through some strength building exercises.
Also read: How to exercise when you don’t have time
Photograph: Taras Taraporvala