Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fitness First for Everybody

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fitness First for Everybody

Article excerpt

Byline: By Steven Mure

With the Great North Run fast approaching, we decided to examine how best to optimise fitness for running.

Runners tend to be a special hearty breed; they will rise early and think nothing of punishing their bodies through an early-morning torture session. However, to get this level of undoubted fitness requires dedication, determination and discipline.

Events such as the Great North Run inspire many of us to take up running or to try an event of this magnitude for the first time. The key factor to bear in mind is preparation. Running is one of the best and calorie efficient exercises one can do, likewise it is one of the toughest for the novice to attain. The constant pounding of the joints, the utilisation of virtually every muscle in the body and the heart rate and physiological stresses placed upon the body make it an activity that one must slowly aspire too.

Anyone who hasn't run regularly in the past should precede any running programme with a walking programme, ideally using a treadmill and comfortable footwear. From this stage begin to elevate the incline level on the treadmill. This will quicken the heart rate and increase the intensity of the exercise. Over time move back to flat terrain and when comfortable begin to introduce some small bouts of running. These initially may only be 30 seconds to one minute long, and then walk in between to recover. As your fitness improves you will begin to find that you can run for longer and the recovery time reduces to the point that you feel comfortable running for a period of time. At this stage your trainer will advise you to begin to increase the pace levels of the run and vary the terrain by taking the run outside or even to the local track.

Once your body is comfortable and can hold a run for 30 minutes-plus you will be able to begin to think about tackling more strenuous and longer events such as a half marathon. …

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