As a follow up to yesterday's post about energy consumption (runners are probably still rejoicing over the news), I remembered something I read in one of Mark Sisson's books about his approach to health and fitness. If you don't know of Mark he is the author of The Primal Blueprint and writes regularly on his blog Mark's Daily Apple. I don't remember the exact quote, but the principle could be expressed as move more, run sometimes. I think it was more like move slowly, run sometimes, I'd have to look it up to get it absolutely precise.
Anyway, the thing I want you to pick up is that you don't have to run all the time. If you're only just thinking about getting fitter, a little more healthy, and you either don't want to run or know you'd really struggle, then this simple mantra of moving more and sometimes moving a little faster might just be what you ned to get started. It's akin to what is called interval training in the fitness world. Forget going to the sports shop for some nice tight lycra running clothing and trying to choose form the bewildering array of trainers. Forget wondering about whether you're a pronator, supinator, or whether you should go barefoot or five- fingered. Just get something in which you can walk comfortably and maybe run a bit when you feel the urge, and hopefully you will feel the urge at some point!
Then set yourself an achievable target. You know I like the 10k steps a day challenge. As part of that challenge I like to try and do at least half in one hit as continuous exercise. Sometimes that will just be about walking, but sometimes I will run. Not very far. Maybe I'll alternate walking and jogging between lampposts. Sometimes I'll sprint! There's a nice row of posts on a path not too far from home, sometimes I start at one end and run from the first to third post, then walk to the next one and run the next two until I get to the end. Then I'll walk around the road in a half circle until I get to the start again and repeat the cycle. Other times I'll run for a couple of minutes and walk for a minute.
Whatever you do, make it fun and vary it when you can. There's nothing as dull as doing the same thing over and over again. What's worse is that your body gets used to it and you get less benefit, from a fitness point of view, as a result.
So go on, give it a try: Move more, run sometimes, have fun!