Running is a very physically and mentally challenging sport. Most days runners spend 90% of the time in their heads and evaluating their owns bodies and deferring physical and mental struggles they are trying to overcome.
The most important thing to know before starting any running regime is to evaluate what your physical limitations are.
1. If you are experiencing any pains in the feet, knees, legs, back or neck it is recommended that you do not start any running program until you see a doctor or risk of injuring yourself even more.
I knew someone who registered for a 6 mile race. He went out for a training run and told me later that he had fractured his ankle on the sidewalk. While that seemed quite humourous to me, I didn’t know that he also had another major injury. He broke his neck and couldn’t bend his head! Not having full mobility of your limbs is a great hinderance as running requires you to have full range of motion to able to run safely.
2. If you have any bone fractures it is definitely not recommended to be running. I had a fractured rib and could hardly breathe. It hurt just to take a breath. I do know of runners who ran with fractured ribs but they were seasoned runners and numb to the pain. For beginners, it is not recommended.
3. If you are pregnant, do not attempt to start running. You will risk injury to yourself and your baby.
4. If you are blind or have a visual impedment, it’s best to see the doctor before running. There are volunteers at running clubs that serve as running guides. They will train with you and run with you during the race. I’ve seen many blind runners during races and very impressed with their dedication to the sport.
5. If you have never exercised before do not try to do run a marathon without practice. It takes about 7 months of serious running to prepare for an actual marathon. Getting out to start is just the beginning, keeping up with the training is the hardest part. You risk getting a heart attack and I hear of a couple of cases after marathons of participants dying of heart attacks. This is very sad. You need to train your body to take all the physical abuse after that, you are one step closer to becoming a runner.
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