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Wednesday 08 October 2008

The Joy of Running

Posted in: Features, Living Well
By Julz Darroch - 21st July 2008

New Zealand sprinter James Dolphin will go for gold at the Beijing Olympics
Ah running!

Those who are not fans of running struggle to see the point.

From the outside it just looks like a whole lot of sweating, rough on the joints and not much fun whatsoever.

But perhaps most mystifying to non-runners is that runners seem to enjoy it!

If you are a non-runner but keen to give it a try, the best way to get your head around starting a running routine is to think of running like sex.

Both endeavors, when done correctly, will leave you in a heap - exhausted but with a smile on your face.

When you first get started, you don't really know what you are doing. There are a lot of myths about what's the best way to go about it and everyone will share their horror stories. There are those who have tried it once without much success, don't listen to them!! If you think it might be your thing just give it a shot! After a couple of sessions, you get the hang of things and realize most of the horror stories you heard were from those who weren't doing it right.

The biggest mistake people make is going too fast at the beginning and running out of steam. Slow down a bit and soon enough you'll be able to go for much longer without getting tired and having to rest.

Many beginners like interval style training, periods of intense work followed by a period of rest.

Working with the right partner can be an advantage too. They will keep you going when you may be tempted to give up and will keep you company during the bits that would be boring if you were on your own. You may need to try a few different partners before you find the right one.

The muscle toning benefits are mainly to the lower parts of your anatomy. A regular routine will tone and firm your softer bits without too much bulk.

Wearing the right gear is essential for your workout, both for comfort and safety.

If visibility is limited then make sure your gear is reflective to prevent being invisible to oncoming traffic.

Clothes that are too loose will just get in the way once you get moving, so go as fitted as your modesty allows. For cooler days layer your outfit, so you can strip off one layer at a time as required.

For those not wanting to sweat it in the great outdoors, there is plenty of indoor equipment to do your workout on and less chance of a friend or work colleague catching you all hot and sweaty.

If someone sees you out and about, have a chat to them, who knows, they may want to join you on your next session but may be too afraid to ask.

Once you are more experienced you can pass on your knowledge to those with no experience thereby sharing the joy!

Who knows, it could become a regular workplace team-building activity.

Remember, you are not alone, we were all beginners once, so just give it a shot. For more information a quick internet search will turn up a group near you.

Happy training!

Julz Darroch is a Wellington-based Personal Trainer and Fitness Educator who uses her 15 years experience in the fitness industry as an excuse to regularly torture Steve Gray and the Good Morning team live on TVOne each Tuesday. Send your fitness-related questions and personal training enquiries to .

Julz Darroch - 21st July 2008