The goal: To not view jog­ging as a de­vice of tor­ture

Elle (Canada) - - Body - Vanessa Craft beauty di­rec­tor

Here’s my is­sue with run­ning: It’s ter­ri­ble. The calf burn­ing, the lungs of fire, wear­ing span­dex leg­gings as pants—it all goes against my core be­lief sys­tem. I want to be good at it, though. I care about my heart, and I want to be fit. But as soon as I lace up my Adi­das and hit the road, my body is in re­volt: I can’t breathe. My calves in­stantly feel like the end of a night in stilet­tos with no bar stools. And my brain, rather than giv­ing me en­cour­age­ment, re­cites “This is im­pos­si­ble. This hurts. No. Stop. Stop now.” on a loop. I can’t run more than a few min­utes be­fore I give in and walk it out like a wimp.

The first fix, says Stan­ton, is to not go full-on right away. In­stead of leap­ing out of my house and sprinting off down the street (ef­fec­tively “shock­ing” my sys­tem), I need to ease my­self into the zone. Warm it up a lit­tle. Get the heart pump­ing. “Never judge a run by the first 10 min­utes,” he sagely adds.

The sec­ond fix is to al­ter­nate be­tween run­ning and fast walk­ing in­stead of try­ing to run the en­tire route. Walk­ing briskly will ex­tend my stride and act like a light stretch. Plus, says Stan­ton, this will slow down my car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem and give it a bit of a rest, so when I start run­ning again, I’ll feel more re­silient. Brisk walk­ing, or “ac­tive rest,” as he puts it, also helps dis­si­pate lac­tic acid. Build­ing up to run­ning in this way “takes away the in­tim­i­da­tion and makes it more at­tain­able.”

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