The Process of Running
Imagine you are about to finish a five mile race. You are tired, hot, and can’t wait
until you are done. You are tied for first and you come down around the last turn. You
are racing with all you have left. You think about all the training you have done and that
drives you to sprint away and win the race. There are many things involved with running
that people who are not in running sports might not know. For instance there is:
stretching, your training, equipment, and the different types of running.
To start off with, you need to know that there are basically two types of running,
distance running and sprinting. In the sport of cross country there is only long distance.
By long distance I mean the race in high school is 3.1 standard. In college the races are
5-6 mile races. The other is track, and in track you have sprinting, hurdling, jumping,
throwers, and long distance. Sprinting is usually like the 100m, 200m, up to the 400m.
Next thing you should know is what gear you should have. You would not want
to run 10 miles in hiking boots, and long jean pants. You want a good pair of running
shoes. Shoes that support your arch and ankle, fit snug, feel comfortable, and can take
many miles. The amount of miles a good pair of shoes is good for should be 500+, at
least if you are going to be a distance runner. Next you should have some light shorts or
winter sweat pants. For racing you may want a pair of spikes. They are similar to soccer
cleats except they aren’t as big and most have removable metal spikes.
Another important factor to consider before you run. Especially before you race
and before your workouts. Is to watch when you eat and drink, what you eat and drink
and how hydrated you are. You want to allow a good two hours before racing and watch
how much you drink. This is so you do not get sick (throw up), and feel miserable.
Since you decided to run, you will need to learn some stretching tips. It does not
matter if you are going to be a sprinter or a long distance runner, you still stretch. You
should hold a stretch for at least fifteen seconds. Stretching helps you get your muscles
ready for exercise, and helps prevent injury. Pulling a muscle is one injury that you can
help prevent by stretching. There are different types of stretching static and dynamic
stretching. Simply put, static stretching is when you are holding your body in a certain
position. Dynamic stretching is moving your body in different rotations or different
walking, skipping, etc. This aids in mobility, flexibility and gets the body moving some
Next is warm-up, which is a slow easy run before an intense workout or race.
How long you warm-up is up to you to decide. This also helps to prevent injury like
pulling a muscle. It gets your body warmed up, your heart rate up and gets muscles ready
for intense running. I usually like to get twenty to thirty minutes in before racing.
Training is the hard and also the fun part. You don’t start out running 10
miles your first day, you slowly build up. For example you may do twenty minutes you
first day, which is what I did. Then you go longer and faster and go more miles. Until
your up to 10 miles and beyond.
You also have workouts besides your meets (races). Some examples of workouts
would be running repeats of a distance with a time limit between each one. Like running
12, 400 meters (one lap around a track) with one minute between each one, running three
,one mile, with five minutes between each one and there are numerous other workouts
that you can do.
You also have to train your mind into having a strong mental mind set, which is
hard to do. It is helpful when you are running hard, like in a race and you feel like you
can not keep going. You use you mental mind set to keep on racing. Another good idea
is to keep your upper body in shape. I mean doing exercises like: sit-ups, pushups, etc.
As well as doing squats and other leg exercises.
Another thing you learn is how to pace. Pacing is how fast you are going, in
running it is what your average mile pace is. For example if you are going 5:30 minute
mile pace for three miles you would have a 16:30 time. My best 3.1 mile time was 17:30.
Also when running you encounter all types of weather, except when there’s
lighting or very bad weather. For practice we have run when it rained, snowed, cold, hot,
windy, etc. You train in summer, through cross country season, break, winter
conditioning and through track season, break and you do that all over again.
In conclusion, running is something I like to do. It helps get my energy out. It
helps get stress out, and keeps your mind sharp. Running keeps you in shape physically
as well as mentally. One nice thing to end with is, anyone can do it if they want to. You
just keep working and building up. Try running you might just find a new passion.