recreational running 101

let us try to understand the concept of recreational running before we get into more detail. i’ll tell you what i understand from the phrase recreational running. for me, it is the running that we do, totally and utterly stress free. the minute, any of our runs become more stressful than exciting or joyous, it moves away from recreational running. also, do not confuse pre-race nerves of excitement as stress. do not confuse the time and effort taken to mentally and physically adapt to any given weather during race day as stress. do not confuse the sweet post-race muscle soreness as stress. the sense of accomplishment, the self confidence gained with every new medal makes up for those. and in this sense, every single individual who takes part in any of the races, either for the win or either for the finisher medal, is a recreational runner. because he or she experiences joy through their participation.

i feel it is the minute that we start including everyday competition among each other into the simple act of running, it starts to move away from recreational running. the minute we start comparing you and i everyday, the minute we start comparing he and she everyday, the minute we start comparing them and us everyday, we simply lose the right to call ourselves recreational runners. because, we are then no longer free to run at our own leisurely convenience. we are then always chasing someone else’s time. we are always chasing someone else or running to not allow someone else catch us. i am not saying a bit of healthy competition occasionally is bad for us. just not everyday. what i’m trying to say is it does not matter what someone else’s timing is. all these comparisons and judgements are only stress and nothing else. and it most certainly is not recreational running.

so as for some quick tips, for those who are unsure of how to get started, the mantra is to get moving. even if it is simply walking. get moving for perhaps 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week and build up on that. in order to obtain maximum benefits of it, get yourself a pair of comfortable running shoes with a spacious toe box. it need not be the most recently released race day running shoes by the biggest brands in the market. if your shoe has a wide enough toe box and a strong ankle hold you are on the right track. in terms of nutrition, carbs contribute to the energy we need and consume for running, proteins will assist you in recovery, GOOD fats will keep your skin and hair healthy and have other benefits. additionally, hydration is equally important. the quantity of these, depends on your current weight and the volume of running that you choose to do. if you sweat excessively, cramps will be your best friends unfortunately. so i cannot say this enough, hydrate, hydrate and hydrate until your urine color is a pale shade of yellow. the minute it gets to a darker shade, you’re in deep trouble my friend.

so that was some and sweet content on recreational running 101. there still would be endless amounts of interesting theories and concepts to discover and learn on this topic, which would make its appearances on this space in future as well. meanwhile, do not forget to keep running for yourself, if you wish to be a free recreational runner and enjoy its benefits. it is by far, the most liberating thing one can master.

Lamsa Hussain

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