Running is one of the most popular ways to do cardio training, if you’re like me and neglect cardio in your workouts, you’re missing out, let me explain.
There’s only 2 ways to train your body, strength training and cardio training. Each one of them is good for your body differently. In one hand, strength training makes your muscles stronger, and, in the other, cardio training makes your heart and lungs “stronger”. Both training methods are complementary, so in order to stay healthy you have to do a bit of both.
Okay, cardio is important, but, why should you choose running above all the other ways of doing cardio training? The answer is that running is easy and requires no equipment. Also, you’re going to find out that it is pretty fun once you commit to it.
I’m not going to lie, starting to run is not easy, my first run went horrible, I ran too fast and ended up with a lot of muscular pain. After that experience, I gave myself some time to relearn how to run. Some YouTube videos later, I found an app called Nike Run Club (NRC).
When it comes to running, I’ve tried to incorporate it in my workout routine but after some time I quit because of 2 reasons:
- I have no idea how fast or for how long should I run.
- Running is boring.
Well, the NRC app solved both problems with something called “guided runs”, they are basically runs in which you’re listening to a coach while running. This simple concept made a huge different in how I understood running. The app has a 4-weeks beginners plan that teaches you the basics of running. In this article, I’m going to summarize the things that I’ve learned, but I strongly recommend you download the app and try it by yourself. During the guided runs of the plan, you’re going to learn and experience different types of runs like:
- Recovery runs: they are supposed to be easy, and you should focus on feeling well during the entire time and not going too hard
- Speed runs: they are meant to test different paces and make you sweat
- Intervals: you run in intervals (e.g. cycles of 2 min running and 1 min walking)
- Fartlek: similar to intervals but in these you’re running the entire time, and you change paces (e.g. cycles of 3 min at 60% and 2 min at 80%)
- Long runs: they force you to run longer
Another one of the key things that I’ve learned about running is that, like in calisthenics, you have to be your own coach. You need to listen to your body and act on its behalf. When you’re feeling bad you should reduce your pace and if you need to stop the run that’s completely fine. The objective of running, as the plan enacts, is “ending every run being a better version of yourself”. Every run should feel good and make you think of running again.
After following the advices in the beginners plan and running twice a week for almost 2 months now, I feel like a complete runner. Although right now I’m not running because I just moved to Berlin, I’m going to recover the habit as soon as possible.
To conclude the article, I want to strongly encourage every reader to download the app and try just the first run, when finished, let me know how it felt. I assure you that you’re going to feel great, and you’ll be looking forward to your next run.
Thanks for reading. Happy running and keep healthy.