There is a reason for everything we do in life, including running. Some people run to blow off steam, others because they find enjoyment out of it, some "because they have to", or sometimes for a good cause. There are a million reasons people run, but I honestly don't think anybody runs for the same reason. They may be similar, but there is always a personal reason (even if kept hidden inside them) a person runs. I have always used running as an outlet from the rest of the world. I use it as "me time" and to get things off my chest. Some of my best thinking comes from my runs, especially long runs. It allows me to analyze situations and weigh all my options before making an irrational decision. After my runs, I feel refreshed and clear minded.
Running is one of the simplest and purest forms of exercise. It requires moving one foot in front of the other with a little speed and power behind it, but a lot of self discipline is expected. It's a test of how hard you can push yourself, and how much "pain" you can endure. My point is, running is something a lot of people take for granted. It's a simple movement any healthy, non sick, person can do. But why don't more people run? So many people complain they want to be in shape, but don't have time/money for a gym. So why don't they run? It's free and it's on their time. My point is, I have a new motivation to run. After my brother got ill, I took a lot of time to think during my runs. Having someone so close to you become severely ill makes you ponder a lot of things in life. It broke my heart to see my brother struggle to just stand up from the couch, much less walk to the kitchen. Each day he becomes stronger and covers more ground in his recovery. He's definatanly a fighter and an inspiration! That brings me to my point: I run because I can. I run for Jason. I took a pledge during one of my runs to not skip out anymore just because I'm tired from work, or whatever my reason may be. I've been wanting to get my weekly mileage back to around 23-30 miles/week. I have no reason not to. For now on, I lace up my shoes and run because other people truly can't. Each mile I cover, I cover for him. In a sense, I feel like it's my way of "helping" him, doing something for him. Once he is fully recovered, I have hopes to persuade him to do a 5k with me because he CAN! After everything he will have gone through, I feel like accomplishing something he doesn't think possible at this time will give him the sense of self accomplishment that is indescribable. That is the reason I love helping people and promoting a healthy lifestyle: making people accomplish goals they never thought possible. The feeling of self satisfaction.
Why do you run? Just think about it.
Training Exercise: Crazy Ivans. I actually ran across this exercise from Nike. It's just a variation of a Russian Twist, but incorporates the "wood chop" motion. It's easy to perform.
- Start by sitting on the floor with a weighted medicine ball or dumbbell.
- Lean back on your butt slightly bringing your feet off the ground-- You're core will be supporting you for the exercise.
- Start with the MB/DB by one side.
- Twist up to the opposite side as if you are reaching up to the ceiling.
- Then return to the starting position.
- That is 1 rep. Continue for 15-20 reps. Then switch to the other side.
- Complete 3-5 sets.
*Remember keeping your feet slightly off the ground engages your core (stomach, lower back, and hips). Resting your feet = cheating.
Training Tip: It's pollen season, at least in the South! Remember to wear some type of sunglasses and, if possible, don't run with your contacts in if running outside. Remember the wind will whip that yellow residue around and blow into your eyes. Without sunglasses your eyes can become irritated causing a headache. Also, if you wear contacts the pollen can either scratch the contact or stick to it causing more irritation on your eye. Other than that, Spring is swell!
Training Songs: I haven't had much time to download many new songs. I've been in a very Jam Band kind of running mood. It reminds me of Summer and good times! Enjoy!
1. Hope- Jack Johnson
2. The Way I Am- Ingrid Michaelson
3. Cornbread (Live)- DMB
4. Untitled (Live)- O.A.R
5. Little Lion Man- Mumford and Sons
6. No Hands- Waka Flocka Flame ft. Roscoe Dash & Wale
7. Stay The Night- James Blunt
8. E.T.- Katy Perry ft. Kayne West
Training Lagniappe: I, along with almost everyone I know, got a spot in the 2011 AJC Peachtree Road Race for July 4th! YAY...It's almost Warrior Dash time! We did it last year and it is some of the most fun you will have during a race! If you haven't done it, or don't know anything about it you HAVE to check it out! I am determined to beat Ross, again! :-)
On a side note: Here is a picture I took the other night after my run. It was very gloomy day, yet the sun was shinning on the two buildings. I thought it looked pretty :-) I love ATL!
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist