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IPS WR (Walk / Run) guide

A GUIDE TO HELP YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WALK / RUN.

Whether you walk a few kilos a week or are trying to run your first 10k, this guide will help you get the most out of your time on the road.

Introduction

THE FREEDOM OF WALKING AND RUNNING

Walking and Running are really activities virtually any human being can and should do. You can do it almost anytime, almost anywhere, and with little or no equipment or preparation. You can start at whatever fitness level you are at, with almost any footwear you have, and grow from there. Walking and running are truly the most universally accessible forms of exercise.

That said, there are some ways in which your growth in, and enjoyment of walking and running can be greatly enhanced. You can also avoid injury and costly equipment mistakes with a bit of guidance and common sense.

There are four sections to this guide, each building somewhat on the previous one. This does NOT mean you have to progress through all four sections. You simply start wherever you want, based on your current activities, and progress to wherever you want your walking or running to be in your life at this stage. The sections are as follows:

  1. Casual Walking
  2. Advanced Walking
  3. Casual Running
  4. Advanced Running

Each section contains information about equipment, preparation, warmup, hydration/ feeding and cool-down.

Types of Walking

Casual Walking

For the purposes of this guide, we will define Casual Walking as something you are or will be doing two to five times a week for up to an hour each time. A perfect activity for those advanced in years, or those who have never been active at all. St Augustine is said to have claimed that “All problems are solved by walking”. This is also a great family activity, and you can involve your dogs too!

LEARN MORE ABOUT CASUAL WALKING

Advanced Walking

If you are walking daily for periods longer than an hour and are doing so over rough terrain and at brisk pace, then you need to consider a few extra things to ensure your walks are safe and comfortable. You could also apply these guidelines to unladen hiking- walking longer distances without heavy backpacks- perhaps just a small daypack.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ADVANCED WALKING

Casual Walking

Equipment
  • All you really need for this kind of walking, are some comfortable shoes and a water container of some kind. If you are walking on the road, sidewalk, or smooth footpaths, this will be all you need.
  • The only other thing to be aware of, is how you dress- remember that your body will warm up as you walk, so dress in a way that allows you to remove a layer of clothing (jacket/jersey) if needed during your walk.
  • Always carry your cellphone with you in case of emergency. Keep it concealed on your person.
  • Depending on where you live and walk, you may also want to carry some sort of self-defense equipment like a cane or pepper spray.
Preparation
  • There is really very little to prepare- you have the freedom to just lock up and go walk!
  • If you are walking alone, you may want to tell friends or family that you’re going for a walk, and you may want to eat something before your walk.
Warmup
  • Walking at a gentle pace to start with, is really all you will need to do. You can speed up your pace after a few minutes of walking if that is your intention.
Hydration / Feeding
  • Water is really all you will need on your walks. A 500ml bottle should suffice for most folks.
  • If you’re the snacky type, you can carry a small snack with you to enjoy on the top of a hill while admiring the view.
Cool Down
  • When coming back from your walk, especially if it was at a brisk pace, or if it was particularly cold, the only thing to remember is not to sit down immediately. Keep moving around the house for a few minutes to help your entire body cool down and recover properly.
  • Drink a few glasses of water to rehydrate your body.

Advanced Walking

Equipment
  • Footwear becomes more important here, and you will want to invest in a comfortable pair of walking shoes, or even hiking shoes if you’re doing long hikes over rough terrain. Shop around for shoes- you do not have to buy branded, top of the range shoes for now, and there are a few retail chains around that produce good quality, affordable walking & hiking shoes. Comfortable socks that don’t chafe you are also important.
  • Remember that your feet may swell slightly with increased blood flow of walking- so shoes should never be too tight.
  • Clothing should also be considered more carefully- clothing should be comfortable and shouldn’t chafe you. Layering becomes important as you may need warmer clothing over cooler clothing to adjust as needed while you walk or hike. Your body will warm up significantly when walking briskly or hiking, so be prepared to remove some layers as needed.
  • Always carry your cellphone with you in case of emergency. Keep it concealed on your person, or in your daypack.
  • Depending on where you live and walk, you may also want to carry some sort of self-defense equipment like a cane or pepper spray.
Preparation
  • Plan your route carefully and ensure you have enough water and snacks to last you on your walk or hike.
  • Make sure to check the weather forecast so you can dress accordingly.
  • If you are walking alone, you may want to tell friends or family that you’re going for a walk, and you may want to eat something before your walk.
Warmup
  • Walking at a gentle pace to start with, is really all you will need to do. You can speed up your pace after a few minutes of walking if that is your intention.
Hydration / Feeding
  • Ensure you carry enough water for the duration of your walk or hike. A general guideline is about 500ml per hour of walking or hiking. For long walks and hikes, you can invest in a hydration pack- not only do they carry 2-4L of water, but you also have your hands free, as the pack sits on your back.
  • Start sipping water within the first 30 min of your walk or hike to keep you hydrated throughout.
  • Carry some protein/energy bars or make up your own EGOP (Everything Goes In One Packet) mix of nuts, sweets, dried fruit and protein like biltong to snack on the road or trail.
Cool Down
  • When coming back from your walk, especially if it was at a brisk pace, or if it was particularly cold, the only thing to remember is not to sit down immediately. Keep moving around the house for a few minutes to help your entire body cool down and recover properly.
  • Drink a few glasses of water to rehydrate your body.
  • You can also relax with a hot shower or warm bath to soothe your body after your walk or hike.

Types of Running

Casual Running

If you want to run on weekends- Park runs, MyRuns, Fun Runs etc. or maybe 2-3 times a week at 5 -10k distances, then this is your section.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CASUAL RUNNING

Advanced Running

Going over that mystical 10km mark as a runner brings some unique highs to your experience, and by some basic principles.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ADVANCED RUNNING

Casual Running

Equipment
  • Although you do need comfortable running shoes, you do not have to invest in branded top-of-the range shoes for your runs. Unless you have a medical reason for needing to buy those shoes, a good quality entry-level running shoe will be more than sufficient for your 5k runs and will carry you to 10k runs and more as you progress- if progress is your goal, of course. Shop around for shoes- you do not have to buy branded, top of the range shoes for now, and there are a few retail chains around that produce good quality, affordable running shoes. Comfortable socks that don’t chafe you are also important.
  • Remember that your feet will swell with increased blood flow when running- so shoes should never be too tight. Ideally there should be a thumb-width space between your toes and the front of your shoe. The bridge (laces) should hold your foot snugly, but your toes (the toe box area) should have room.
  • Clothing should also be considered more carefully- clothing should be comfortable and shouldn’t chafe you. Your body will warm up significantly when running- even short distances, so the “runners rule of thumb” is to start cooler than you think. Therefore, you see runners all huddled together and shivering at the start of races 🙂
  • Consider carrying your cellphone with you in case of emergency. You do NOT want to carry it in your hand while running, so invest in a waist belt or something like hold your phone snugly against your body. A phone bouncing in your pocket will ruin your run. Those waist belts usually have space for your keys too.
  • Depending on where you live and run, you may also want to carry some sort of self-defense equipment like pepper spray
Preparation
  • If you are attending an organized run or race, you must allow some time for parking and registration. The worst feeling in the world is to arrive for your race only to miss the start because you couldn’t find parking.
  • If running your own routes- around your neighborhood or in a park, plan your route carefully. Google maps is especially useful for this.
  • Make sure to check the weather forecast so you can dress accordingly.
  • If you are running alone, you may want to tell friends or family that you’re going for a run.
Warmup
  • A very slow jog is the best warmup for most runners. Just spend your first 2-3 minutes trotting along, checking in with your body and gradually increasing the pace until you’re at your “running pace”.
  • If you intend to start fast in a race or run, spend a few minutes jogging on the spot or jogging slowly, increasing your pace after a minute or two, and do a few jumping jacks to activate your entire body for the run. Do this only minutes before the start of the actual run or race.
Hydration / Feeding
  • For sub 5k runs, you don’t need to carry water unless you struggle with a dry mouth or are dehydrated when you start. Hydrating before you run- by drinking 500ml of water should be sufficient to carry you through your run. Avoid drinking too much water, as this may cause stitches.
  • You shouldn’t need any snacks or energy bars etc. for your 5k run.
Cool Down
  • When coming back from your run, it is very important to stretch and cool down properly. Walk around for a few minutes (NEVER just sit down after your run) and do a few basic stretches. See the back of this booklet for some recommended stretching exercises.
  • Drink a few glasses of water to rehydrate your body.
  • Eating a fruit or two will help to replenish your energy and electrolyte stores.
  • You can also relax with a hot shower or warm bath to soothe your body after your run.

Advanced Running

Equipment
  • Although you do need comfortable running shoes, you do not have to invest in top-of-the range shoes for your runs. Unless you have a medical reason for needing to buy those shoes, a good quality entry-level running shoe will be more than sufficient for your 5k runs and will carry you to 10k runs and more as you progress. Branded footwear like Asics, Under Armour, Adidas, and New Balance, all provide wide ranges of excellent quality shoes to fit all running styles and terrain. Do your research well before investing in shoes of this price range as mistakes can be costly. Comfortable socks that don’t chafe you are critical for longer runs.
  • Remember that your feet will swell with increased blood flow when running- so shoes should never be too tight. There should normally be a thumb-width space between your toes and the front of your shoe. The bridge (laces) should hold your foot snugly, but your toes (the toe box area) should have room.
  • Clothing should also be considered more carefully- clothing should be comfortable and shouldn’t chafe you. Your body will warm up significantly when running- even short distances, so the “runners rule of thumb” is to start cooler than you think. Therefore, you see runners all huddled together and shivering at the start of races 🙂
  • It may now be time to invest in a sports watch / smart watch or fitness tracker to start tracking your runs and monitoring your performance. There are hundreds of models to choose from on the market, and you are sure to find something within your budget. At the very least the watch should track your distance and heart rate.
  • On longer runs, ANY kind of additional baggage becomes very annoying and distracting. Many longer-distance runners leave all but a house or car key behind. Carrying your cellphone over longer distances will require a decent pouch that keeps the phone out of your way and tightly secured to your body.
  • Depending on where you live and run, you may also want to carry some sort of self-defense equipment like pepper spray. Small handheld pepper sprays and self-defense articles are available and designed specifically for runners to carry and use.
Preparation
  • If you are attending an organized run or race, you must allow some time for parking and registration. The worst feeling in the world is to arrive for your race only to miss the start because you couldn’t find parking.
  • If running your own routes- around your neighborhood or in a park, plan your route carefully. Google maps is especially useful for this.
  • Make sure to check the weather forecast so you can dress accordingly.
  • If you are running alone, you may want to tell friends or family that you’re going for a run.
Warmup
  • A very slow jog is the best warmup for most runners. Just spend your first 2-3 minutes trotting along, checking in with your body and gradually increasing the pace until you’re at your “running pace”.
  • If you intend to start fast in a race or run, spend a few minutes jogging on the spot or jogging slowly, increasing your pace after a minute or two, and do a few jumping jacks to activate your entire body for the run. Do this a few minutes before the start of the actual run or race.
Hydration / Feeding
  • What you eat and drink the day and evening before your run starts playing a role in longer runs. Ensure you hydrate and eat well the day before, and you may want to eat something a few hours before your run or race too. Opinions vary greatly on this subject, so the key is to get to know your own body and how it uses fuel and water. This is part of the joy of developing your running ability.
  • For organized races, there are water points set up at specific intervals, and in some races there may be feeding stations too. Opinions on “in-race” feeding vary greatly- from advice on running without feeding to carrying energy gels or drinks to snacks and fruits. Again, discovering what your body needs will be part of your journey.
  • Opinions on hydration, however, are unanimous: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink small sips of water often, and especially in hot weather, you may want to consider investing in a hydration pack for your longer solo runs.
  • Off-road, or Trail Running is generally more demanding on your body, so your need to feed and hydrate must be adjusted accordingly.
  • You are welcome to contact Somalution Body Revolution (somalution@gmail.com) for some more hydration and feeding tips
Cool Down
  • When coming back from your run, it is very important to stretch and cool down properly. Walk around for a few minutes (NEVER just sit down after your run) and do a few basic stretches. See the back of this booklet for some recommended stretching exercises.
  • Drink a few glasses of water to rehydrate your body.
  • Eating a fruit or two will help to replenish your energy and electrolyte stores.
  • You can also relax with a hot shower or warm bath to soothe your body after your run.

Stretching after Running

It is important that you stretch AFTER your run, and not before you run. This allows the muscles to relax and flushes out lactic acid that may have built up in your muscles. This is important to help your muscles recover from your run, and to reduce the chances of cramps or stiffness the next day.

There are many other stretches you can explore. This routine is designed to be used almost anywhere regardless of the terrain, so no stretching that requires lying down is used.

Hamstring Stretch

Great for relaxing the hamstring and lower back muscles.

  • Hinge from the hips only- do not hunch your back.
  • Back straight, shoulders back, head tilted up.
  • Hold for 30sec to 1min.

Ragdoll

Release tension in the lower back and shoulders.

  • Bend knees slightly.
  • Fold arms loosely and fold body forward.
  • Neck, arms, and shoulders should be relaxed.
  • Hold for 30sec to 1min.

Downward Facing Dog

A great recovery position or pose. Work towards aligning your wrist, shoulder, and hip into a straight line.

  • Bend your knees slightly if needed.
  • Keep breathing and hold the pose for 30sec to 1min- it relaxes and lengthens many of the muscles you used during your run.

Standing Backbend

Great for stretching out the front of the body.

  • Palms facing each other, arms straight up above your head.
  • Lean back slightly into a backbend.
  • Tilt head up.
  • Hold for 30sec to 1min.

Runner’s Lunge

The classic runner’s stretch targeting those muscles that worked hardest during your run.

  • Give a big step forward, supporting your body by placing your hands on the front knee.
  • Straighten the back leg as much as possible.
  • Straighten your arms as much as possible to lever your body into as upright position as possible.

Quad Stretch

Give the largest muscle group in your body a good stretch.

  • Lift your leg backwards and grab your foot.
  • Try to hold toward the toes, and not just over the bridge of your foot- this helps to stretch your upper foot ligaments and muscles too.
  • Work towards eventually not needing to hold on to something but to balance yourself in this position. Developing good balance is always a handy skill.
  • Hold for 30sec to 1min each side.

Standing Glute Stretch

The glutes also work hard during a run, so giving them a good stretch also helps realign the lower back and your posture.

  • Grab your shin just below the knee and pull your knee upwards towards your chest.
  • Keep your back as upright and straight as possible.
  • If the terrain allows, this stretch can be performed lying on your back.

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