Friday, June 23, 2017 | ePaper

How long should your run last?

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Life Desk :
A question that intrigues every runner is the ideal duration of the run. The surprising thing is that when it comes to running 'it's not about the distance, but time'. If we generalize this statement a little, a 30 minutes run gives you a considerable amount of benefits including increased blood flow, which helps in recovering your heart and lungs, relieving stress and making your body more efficient.
When it comes to effectiveness, no same run time fits all. In fact, to determine how long you should run, actually depends on your goals and what you are willing to gain from your run. So, there is no set number of miles you should fuss about but the number of minutes you run.
Depending on different situations, the amount of time you should run will also vary. Let's analyse a few situations.
If you are new to running:
Even if you're a regular with some other form of exercise, running is a different beast altogether and it can beat up your body in a completely new way.
The most important thing when you start running is that you should start slow to avoid any kind of injury. Start with what you can do and then slowly increase your pace and set an achievable goal. To get comfortable, you can apply the 'walk-run strategy'. Walk-run strategy is when you run for three minutes and then walk for one minute. You can repeat it 10-15 times. If you want to increase your endurance:
The key to up your endurance is to spend more time on your feet. Suppose if you are running for three days a week, then you should consider adding one more day or if you're running for 20 minutes for three days, then you can increase it to 25 minutes every day. But be careful and don't overload yourself. Increase your speed slowly. This will help you increase your endurance gradually with time.
If you are training for a marathon:
If you're planning to run for a marathon, then your marathon run should be 30 per cent mileage of your weekly run. Going above that can put you at risk of getting injured in the long run. So, if you want to make it to the start line, then you need to be safe and slow.
If you want to tone your body:
If losing weight is your only goal, then you would need a little more than just running. Running along with weight training or running along with strength training can be more effective in achieving your goals. Strength training exercises like squats, lunges and rows will amp up your calorie burn as they use most number of muscles at one time and will also help prevent injury.
If you want to de-stress:
Many studies have shown that the most effective way to de-stress is to break a sweat. Running and exercise helps to ward off depression. You should exercise 3 to 5 times per week and aim to reach 50 to 85 per cent of your maximum heart rate. If you do this regularly then there are minimum chances of you getting stressed or depressed.
Some tips and facts for running:
According to the American Heart Association, running for two to three times a day for 10 - 15 minutes each can provide the benefits of a single 30-minute run.
The speed at which you run is the primary factor in determining how many calories you'll burn. If you run uphill, it will provide resistance against your muscles, especially your calves, hamstring and buttock, thus increasing your calorie burn.
Running down steep hills will bring gravity into play, helping you to run faster than you can by yourself - a training benefit if you play sports.
If you hold dumbbells while you run, you can work on upper-body strength and burn more calories.
Don't start running at full speed with no warmup. Give your heart, lungs and muscles a chance to coordinate their efforts. Start with a light jog for one minute, slowly raising your speed every 30 seconds until you reach the speed you will maintain for the duration of your run. When you're ready to finish your run, slow down for several minutes before you stop and let your breathing get back to normal. Stretch your muscles by holding them for 20 seconds or longer when you're finished.
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