“The View’s” Elisabeth Hasselbeck laced up her running shoes and hit the pavement for her first half marathon. She hosted the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon in Central Park. ]
Elisabeth finished a double winner, she completed her race in less than two hours and raised money for Celiac Disease research, an autoimmune disease from which she suffers. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Spring is officially here and once again I think to myself – “…Hmmm! I should take up jogging.”
That’s right, every year I promise myself this will be the moment, but alas, my running shoes simply gather more dust. Yet, I do yearn to experience the runner’s high. All of my jogging friends tell me how great (and less stressed) they feel after a run – and a runner’s physique is not bad either. Plus, jogging clothes are cute AND there are a lot of hot runner guys out there. That should be enough incentive right there!
So, what’s the best way to become a jogger? For us beginners, it’s best to be a jogger first, and work up to a runner. “Fitness Magazine” Deputy Editor, Mary Anderson has some beginner’s advice. “If you’re a walker who wants to transition into a jogger, start interspersing jogs into your usual walking loop. For instance if you head out for 30 minutes, then alternate walking for 2 minutes with running for 1 minute. After you’ve kept that up for a week or two, try walking for 2 minutes and running for 2 minutes. Keep stretching out those jogs and reducing your walking until you can maintain a steady jog.”
Before you jog outside, Mary suggests strengthening your glutes, so you’ll not only move faster, but also cut your chance of injury. Also, it’s important to stretch – before and after your jog. “Before you run, you want to do dynamic stretches where you’re moving and stretching your leg muscles at the same time such as butt kicks (jog while kicking heels up towards your derriere for 30 seconds),” recommends Mary.
“Post-run when your muscles are warm, you can do static stretches for your quads, hamstrings and calves like the ones below.”
1. Quad Stretch: Lie on left side on ground with hips stacked, right knee bent so foot is behind you and left arm extended under head. Reach right hand behind you to grasp right shin, ankle, or forefoot and gently pull right foot toward butt as far as possible; bring right knee forward to start position. Do 10 reps without pausing; switch sides and repeat.
2. Hamstring Stretch: Lie face-up on ground with left knee bent and left foot flat, right leg extended. Loop yoga strap or towel around sole of right foot and hold one end of strap in each hand. (If you’re empty-handed on race day, simply grasp back of right thigh.) Keeping resistance in strap, gently lift leg as high as you can. Once you reach top of stretch, increase tension on strap slightly and pull leg a little bit higher; lower. Do 10 reps without pausing; switch sides, repeat.
3. Calf Stretch: Sit on ground with legs together and extended in front of you, back tall. Loop yoga strap or towel around sole of left foot and hold one end of strap in each hand. (No strap? Do the stretch without one; simply flex left foot.) Keeping resistance in strap, flex left foot and gently pull toes toward you; release. Do 10 reps without pausing; switch sides and repeat.
For more running advice and other workout tips, check out www.fitnessmagazine.com.