Last year I joined 6 different fun runs, 3 of them in one month. In that one month I was supposed to join 4 fun run events but I cancelled the last one due to an injury. Technically I didn’t run the last two, I just walked them. More on that later.
Running Back to Nostalgia Lane
I joined my first fun run in 2016 with my colleagues from my then company Bizceed International Inc. We were bitten by the fitness bug and wanted–when possible–to join every fun run we could. In the end, we only joined 3: Run for Eruf, Burger Run and Eat and Run.
Our first run was Run for Eruf, which coincided with Marco Polo’s 10th anniversary. I think we only jogged twice before the run itself. Did I tell you it was an uphill run? The Run for Eruf’s start and end point was at Marco Polo Hotel. The next few days after that run, my legs and feet were so sore, I took the elevator instead of walking up the stairs.
For 2017, I joined the Color Run Cebu (May), World Vision Run (July), UP Uphill Challenge (October), Justice League Run (Nov 19), McDonald’s Stripes Run (Nov 25) and Milo Run (Dec 3). I decided to sell my race kit for Hope Run (Dec 10) because I sprained my right foot and needed to rest it.
This year, I haven’t signed up for any fun run yet but I’m definitely planning to challenge myself more and aim for more kilometers. I have yet to try finishing a 10 KM run nor any trail run. Those are top two things I want to try in 2018.
What I Learned From Running
Though I’m not as consistent at running as other people are, I still learned a few things from it that I intend to apply when I become more serious about it. If you’re thinking about running too, here are a few things you should know.
1. Stretch Before You Start and After You Finish
When I first started jogging in Abellana sports complex, I often wondered why it took some people so long to get started around the oval. It turns out, they were stretching to warm up and avoid injury. Stretching is important after jogging, too, or any other exercise for that matter.
When you stretch after your fitness routine, you’ll be able to loosen tight muscles and lessen body aches the day after. I used to be self conscious about doing stretches before I run but after I found out about its benefits, stretching has now become part of my routine.
2. Start Slow, Gradually Speed Up
Patience is a virtue when it comes to running. Sometimes, we can become impatient because we want to become good at something like running fast. But it takes a lot of hard work to do so.
You can’t just decided to jog 5 KM on the first day of training.
This was what Rome and I did wrong. We ended up doing too much too fast. We covered too much ground on our first days of training. As a result, we ended up with very sore feet, knees and legs. We had to cancel our next running session because we didn’t have the energy to continue.
Start slow like 2 KM then gradually increase it per day. My ultramarathoner friend Armie recommended trying intervals of running and walking to get you started. Four minutes of continuous running then 1 minute walking. Then repeat. The important thing is to keep going.
3. Run Often, Regularly
Aside from patience, consistency is key when it comes to running. When you jog, set a regular schedule. Rome and I set Tuesday and Thursdays as our schedule for jogging. If we’re preparing for a fun run, we include one day in the weekend.
On days we can’t run, Rome and I would find other physical activities as an alternative. Rome would walk from work to home while I did yoga. In between running sessions, it’s important to do some sort of workout to complement it.
4. Rest When Required
It’s true when people say that you should “listen to your body.”
During our first jogging sessions last year, Rome would always tell me jokingly, “Can we cancel today?” I would tell him firmly, “No.” because I didn’t want to lose our momentum when it came to running regularly.
But one time I did yoga and then ran afterwards. The next day, I did yoga again but I didn’t have energy for running anymore. I was too tired and feeling slightly feverish. For the first it was my turn to tell Rome, “Let’s cancel today.”
Learn to listen to your body. Schedule rest days in between training sessions to give it time to recover from your grueling workout.
5. Select the Right Shoe
Shoes are something we tend to take for granted when it comes to running. We just choose whatever is available and not so expensive to get started. However, if you’re planning to run seriously, you need to select the right shoe for you.
I never really took this advice to heart until I sprained my foot while jogging with my friend Angel. It turns out, my shoe didn’t have the right type of support for my feet. I was using neutral running shoes when in fact what I needed were shoes with better stability. It was due to that injury that I walked 2 fun runs and sat the last one out.
The right type of running shoes shoes may cost a little bit more expensive than your usual rubber shoes. But if you’re planning to run long term and cover wider mileage, the investment will be worth it.