Running is an action that has been around for millennia and began evolving into a more competitive sport approximately 4000 years ago. Running is distinctive from walking in that both feet leave the ground at one point in a runner’s stride. Running is now a common exercise performed by people all over the world. There are very little restrictions of where people can run, so you will find runners everywhere from urban scenes to rural countryside. The minimal equipment involved, when compared to cycling or other endurance sports, means it is an affordable sport for those looking to exercise on a budget.
There are many health benefits to running when one undertakes a safe and steady training plan. Some benefits are potential weight loss, cardiovascular and muscular health, cholesterol reduction, and mental health benefits. Many runners experience what is known as “runners high”, which is a term to describe the euphoric feeling that exercise, specifically running, brings to them. There is some controversy that running is damaging to the knees and lower body joints due to the high-impact nature of the sport. With a proper plan and equipment, and the care for your body, you can enjoy the benefits of running and reduce your chances of injury.
Running gear has evolved over time and as with all endurance sports, the equipment has evolved to be more specific to running only. Shoes are the main component of a runner’s list of equipment, and there are many different companies and philosophies when it comes to running shoe design. This all depends on your body’s needs and running style. Some prefer more cushion, others prefer more stability, and there are even runners who prefer minimalist shoes, also called “barefoot running”. Barefoot running has become a more common trend in recent years, and there is still controversy surrounding the discipline.
Running competitions have been split into three main categories, which are road running, track, and cross-country. Road running takes place on established routes, typically roads, and do not repeat sections very often. Marathons have become a popular form of road running, and the marathon is featured in the Olympics. Track competitions are held on a closed oval track and are broken into several events, such as sprints, middle-distance, long-distance, and hurdling. These Track events are also featured in the Olympics, along with many other competitions that fall under the general track umbrella. Cross-country competitions are open like road running but are performed off-road over open terrain.
Get out there and join your Endurance Unlimited community for a run and make every second count!