New To Running – Starting To Run

evolution-man-running-concept-46728419Our human body was “designed” to run. Bio-mechanically we have long levers, leg bones, articulated springy feet and muscle groups acting around joints. When supplied with  coordinated brain signals the body can move fluidly into walking, jogging or running. Our ancestors were probably in the “flight or fight” mode daily as adrenaline pumped through their body’s and ran either to evade a predator or chase down prey.

Life is not so traumatic for us, we don’t have to run for survival or to catch our next meal. We are not preyed upon by the animal kingdom and have supermarkets for food.

  • What is our reason for running? It get murky here!!

We don’t really have a reason anymore ……….. except ………. survival.

Modern survival is more long term health related than immediate survival, such as fleeing the attentions of a sabre-tooth tiger. Our modern world does not require that we run and lifestyles are much more sedentary. Health issues that come with a sedentary lifestyle are well documented and all negatively impact an individual’s ability to thrive.


There are enormous health benefits to running including overall physical and mental well being.

  • To maintain body health the recommendation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equates to 7000 to 8000 steps per day = 3.5 to 4 miles/day. Note the word “maintain”, it does not say improve your health and it is referring to moderate walking. We do not want to maintain poor health do we? So we have to do more to obtain health and then maintain it.

Running is effort. Yes, but effort is required in anything we do to try and better ourselves.

  • Young kids are generally little bundles of energy. They are constantly moving around, flitting like little bees, exploring their new world as fast as they can. During school years every kid is still encouraged to take part in some form of movement sports. Unfortunately this is where the modern world creeps in and turns many away from an active life by the negativity implied of not being a winner or champion. That’s sad, but don’t give up on yourself.
  • Question: Who puts more effort into completing a marathon? The person who finishes in 3-1/2 hours or the person who finishes in 5 hours? Answer: I’m going to speculate they both put roughly the same effort into the cause, it’s just that one is more efficient than the other.

How do I start to run?

  • DESIRE. You’ve got to want to do it otherwise you won’t keep at it.

How do I keep myself running?

  • Goals. You need realistic, obtainable goals with rewards.

Do I need to join a runners group?

  • No, but other group members can help with motivation and become friends.

Do I need a training program?

How far should I run?

  • There is no secret to this. You run as far as it takes to get you breathless at a minimum and very slowly build from that point each time you go for a run, possibly daily. Slowly your body will adapt and you’ll increase elapsed time, distance and add another benefit – sweating.
  • Sweating – controls body heat and draws out accumulated toxicity.

How fast should I run?

  • Running is defined as the whole body loses ground contact completely between one foot pushing off and the other foot landing. There is no speed limit to this definition. If you always have one foot in contact with the ground then you’re walking.

How much water should I drink?

  • In the early stages you won’t be going far enough or long enough to warrant carrying any water with you. Just make sure you are not dehydrated before you start and drink some after you’ve finished. As your distance and elapsed time increase you may start to need water. Only you will know what is right for you.

What running shoes should I wear?

  • Your feet need adequate protection and should support your body without forcing you into compensatory movement patterns. Literally, some people require no shoes, others require neutral or supportive shoes. In all cases lighter weight is better. (see many relevant pages on this website)

What clothing should I wear?

  • It’s not important except for legal purposes and comfort levels. (see many relevant pages on this website)

How often should I run?

  • This depends on your goals and well being. Everyone is different.

How do I run without injuring myself?

  • Be alert to your surroundings and be alert to signals from your own body.