Running is one of the simplest, cheapest and most effective forms of exercise. It can be done almost anytime and anywhere, and requires very little equipment. It can also be a social way to exercise – you can run with a friend, join a beginners group, go to our local parkrun, or even head to a running club. It really doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are either, you just start where you start, and build up gradually.
The only essential item is a good pair of trainers (and for women, a good sports bra). The right shoes will make your running easier and more enjoyable, and help prevent injury. Make sure you choose a sports shop with staff who are happy taking the time to assess your feet, to ensure you get the right pair for you (Shoe Clinic on George St is a great place to start).
Why is running good for me?
You probably know the obvious benefits related to physical health, but you might not know that running:
- helps improve confidence and body image
- makes you think faster, and stay sharper with age
- improves sleep
- and like all physical activity, makes you happier!
A great way to get fitter and stronger, fast, is to incorporate some high intensity principles into your running programme. For example, if you are a slow jogger:
- on your usual run route, you could do a 30 to 60 second sprint every four or five minutes. Over time you could try building up to doing this four times. Or:
- you could warm up with a five-minute jog, then do some 30 to 60 second high-intensity bursts with 60 seconds of recovery (walk or jog) between each sprint. You might build up from four or five to eventually ten or more these sprints. Cool down with two to three minutes of walking or jogging.
If you want to give high intensity workouts a try, you could join Ariki Track Club’s AWE training nights, which are held every Wednesday night at 6pm. AWE is a session of multiple interval runs with rest and recovery in between. All community members are welcome, you don't have to be a member of Ariki. The sessions are designed to enable anyone of any ability to do them and benefit, including beginners. For more information click here
Some ideas to get you started
Having something to aim for, some kind of goal, is a really important factor when it comes to remaining consistent with exercise. If you are looking for a little more motivation, then you're in luck, event season is about to start! Here are some fun, achievable events to get you on your way to a happy, healthy summer.
This event consists of 10km run and 5km walk options, and is being held at the Caledonian Sports Ground, Logan Park on Sunday 30th August. It's a gold coin donation to enter, with all proceeds going to the Cancer Society. Kids can participate on scooters.
The New Balance Hill Free Half Marathon event is a running and walking race catering for all ages and abilities. It consists of a Half Marathon run, 10km run/walk and a 2km run for children under 12, and is being held on Sunday 11 October. As the name suggests, this event is hill free, so it's a great event to start with.
Dunedin parkrun is a 5km run - you against the clock. It’s currently held
every Saturday at 9am (it’s an earlier 8am start in the warmer months) in the Dunedin Botanic Garden. parkrun is free, but you do need to register
before your first run. Once you register you get a personal barcode, which means you will get a time.
All runners are there for enjoyment (not racing), so you can feel comfortable joining in whatever your pace. Join the other parkrunners and grab a post run coffee in the Croque-O-Dile café too.
The crew at ABSolute Health & Fitness lead a running group every Tuesday at 5.30pm and Sunday at 9.30am, leaving from their gym at 250 King Edward St. This group is for anyone and everyone, regardless of fitness level, and you do not need to be a gym member to participate. Best of all, it's free.
If you'd find it helpful to follow a training plan, we have both a 5km and 10km plan here
on the MoveMe website. You can also get hard copies of the 5km plan from the Dunedin City Council, or Sport Otago
The University of Otago are currently examining active transport to school habits in adolescents, and they also need parents to participate in the research. If you are interested in being involved (and we would love your help), you can find out more here.
Mud, Sweat and Tears Challenge
Get dirty! The course for this 5km or 10km includes a mud slide, forest run, hay bale pyramid, a crawl under a sea of barbed wire, horse jumps, water jumps, wire rope bridges, mud runs, and floating platforms.
Cadbury Uptown Art Marafun
See above for the details.
Cadbury Dunedin Marathon, Half Marathon, and Walk
This has to be one of the most scenic Marathons in New Zealand. Starting close to the Albatross Colony on the Otago Peninsula, the course winds around the beautiful Otago Harbour before finishing at Watson Park, Port Chalmers.
Walk to D'Feet MND
This fundraising event for the Motor Neurone Disease association of New Zealand is part of a nationwide walk being held in 6 cities on the same day. In Dunedin the walk is being held on the Ravensbourne shared pathway, is approximately 3km long, and is wheelchair friendly.
MoveMe Edgar Centre Have A Go Day
We have just started to organise another Have A Go Day at the Edgar Centre, where you will be able to come along and try any number of different sports and activities for FREE. Keep an eye on our website and like our Facebook page to find out more details as they come to light.
Hill Free Half Marathon, 10km Run/Walk and 2km Run (for kids)
See above for the details.
Have a great month everyone,