Running is very popular; anyone can put on a pair of running-shoes and start immediately! Usually, you run for relaxation, to lose weight, or improve your condition. Many people are members of a running-club where they work on their performance as a group. Heightened achievement gives you a kick, but watch out for injuries!

Injuries often occur just before that one important race. With running, the most important factor is good shoes. While running, your joints suffer a good “pounding”, which can lead to an increased risk of chronic injury. Another aspect is that you have to run at a constant rate for prolonged periods, which demands constant energy. This requires a lot of discipline. When running, take a good warm-up and cool-down, develop a good training regime, find the correct manner of running, and the right nutrition.

Energy

Are you a regular marathon-runner? Then you’ll probably know that after about 35 kilometres, many runners hit “the wall”; you have used up your glycogen reserves. At distances like this, your energy levels plummet so low that you can no longer maintain a constant speed. So it’s important when running to take along some concentrated energy food, and after your exertions, to replenish your glycogen reserves with a lot of carbohydrates.

It is advisable to start eating large quantities of carbohydrates a few days before a race. Do this at least 2-3 hours before you start a run, so you don’t have any problems while you are running! There are specifically balanced products available for sporters with heightened energy requirements. Use one of these products one hour before your training session, and another one hour after. This ensures that you start your training with enough energy, and enough for recovery after.

Resistance

Running strengthens the immune-system and raises the level of resistance. Scientific research shows that running time and time again gives positive results.

It also indicates that a good bodily condition lowers stress-levels; you are less vulnerable to worry and nerves. This is primarily because natural neurochemicals, endorphins and serotonin, are released while running. These provide the ‘feel-good’ factor!

Running improves your resistance to colds and ‘flu, and improves the recovery-time (as long as you are not feverish). It is also advisable to take a special sporters’ multivitamin, like the Fitshape Mega 1, which supplements the daily diet with vitamins, minerals, trace-elements and antioxidants.

Recovery

After a strenuous training-session it is important to provide the body with the correct nutrients for quick recovery; damaged muscles repair faster, and new muscle-tissue is generated. It is important that you get enough of these nutrients, particularly proteins.

Never forget a good ‘wind-down’, or ‘cool-down’. Sudden inactivity after a demanding training-session can cause stiffness and muscle pain, which hinder the body’s recovery.