Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Getting ready to run

Published:Monday | November 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Cathy Risden, Lifestyle Writer

Nowadays, we are so bombarded with work, school, family and other activities that we can hardly find time to stay in shape. In an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle and team building, Events Options is giving you a chance to participate in their lap-a-thon and corporate 3K relay, at the UWI Mona track early next year. Part proceeds will go towards assisting The Salvation Army School for the Blind and Visually Impaired with the refurbishing of their derelict library.

Running a 3K can be fun, and while it's not as gruelling as a 5K, it still takes some endurance and aerobic health to run or even walk such distances. In preparation for this event, you must ensure that you are prepared appropriately and adequately in order to avoid injuries. During a health talk with Douglas Evelyn, gym supervisor at the University of the West Indies, Mona, he shared with Flair some guidelines when deciding to run the 3K or 5K.

Start training well in advance and start slowly

Begin with a 15-minute jog and work your way up from there, gauging your comfort level as you go. Increase your time as much as you can without overexerting yourself. You should be able to hold a simple conversation while running without losing your breath. Always get a good night's rest the night before any major walk/run.

Stretch muscles before and after

This helps to prevent injury. Try to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds to fully stretch and relax the muscles. After completing the race, put your hand on your head, walk slowly and take some deep breaths. It's best to have both an orange and water.

Eat properly

There are certain foods that work towards promoting strong muscles and lasting energy, and other foods that will zap your energy when you are running. Increase your potassium intake by eating a lot of ripe bananas - this will reduce the risk of muscle contract. Avoid simple sugars and, instead, focus on complex carbohydrates such as those found in fruits - pastas, legumes, breads and vegetables. Bran muffins are a good replacement for fruit - it is not too sweet, but has enough sugar to give you energy. Supplementing your diet with a good multivitamin, and even an energy supplement like ginseng is a good way to gain an edge.

Practise drinking

Start drinking a lot of water weeks before the run/walk and two hours before, to avoid having to visit the restroom while running - this will keep you hydrated during the walk/run. Drinking too much, or too little, too often while running can cause choking, nausea, dehydration and/or wasting precious time during the walk/run.

Pace yourself

If you didn't get a chance to fully prepare for the run, walk instead. If during your walk/run you feel chest pain, try taking some deep breaths. If it continues, stop and ask for medical assistance. Ensure you are wearing a pair of running shoes that is in excellent condition.

Past injuries

Previous injuries can be uncomfortable and painful, so be sure to take a knee or back brace if necessary - a hand band, or ointment and apply before or during.

Evelyn also advises, "If at any time you feel faint, do not push it; stop and ask for medical assistance.You should know the difference between being tired and when something is seriously wrong with you. And try not to wait until a marathon comes up before exercising - it should be a part of your lifestyle," he concluded.

The 3K will take on a relay format - teams of five will run a part of the race and exchange the relay baton they started with. The first 2.6 kilometres will be contested on the campus of the University of the West Indies, Mona, while the final 400 metres will climax on the Mona Bowl grass track. The team which completes the route with the fastest time will be crowned Corporate 3K Relay champions.

For more information contact: 484-6703/534-3061.