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Exercise & Fitness
Think running is not for you? Try this
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
3 years ago, in my early 50’s, I weighed in at 140kg and got out of breath walking, let alone running! I did precisely what was described in this article. Started walking, interspersed with very short runs. What I found worked for me, was committing to a certain amount of time and gradually increasing the intensity (not more than 10% increments) within the same timeframe. I also deliberately included gradient in my routes and focused running up hills, as this increased the resistance. Today I am keeping my weight under 90kg, running 50km – 75km a week and regularly competing in half marathon trails and road marathons. As a regular traveller, I make a point of running in every city I visit and have found it is a great way to discover new places. Let me add however, it was hard work at the beginning. I had to believe that running was good for me and that with time it would get easier and it took almost a year to reach a point where I could honestly admit to missing the activity when I couldn’t run. Investing in good shoes for different surfaces (I use ATR’s for trail running and regular road shoes for marathons) and mixing up surfaces, have both contributed to minimal injury. Whatever you choose to do, I cannot advocate more for spending time on your feet!
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A Beginner's Guide to Running
Running is fun and also outpaces most other types of exercise for the amount of benefits it delivers. So why don’t we run more? The good news is that most people can overcome obstacles to running fairly easily. This Special Health Report offers a step-by-step running plan that eases your in and helps you gradually pick up speed. Along with strength training workouts and post-run routines that will help to loosen tight muscles and keep you limber, there's a series of foot exercises to condition your feet and ankles for the impact of running. This comprehensive running plan will helps build strength, and endurance all while minimizing the risk of injuries. Happy running!
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