Race: tips to keep fit

How to run properly Not Only Twenty

Raise his hand who has not returned from holidays swearing that this Autumn would have done sports ?! If you have not already abandoned the good intentions, here is the post for you: I give you all the tips to keep fit with the race (and the walk).

As mentioned in previous posts, more and more people are approaching sports in adulthood.

Since the correlation between physical activity and health has now been widely demonstrated, the World Health Organization (WHO) has drawn up recommendations for physical activity to be healthy by dividing the population into three categories: the first ranges from 5 to 17 years old, the second from 18 to 64, the third over 65.

Recommendations for the second age range include at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes, but with vigorous aerobic activity, or the combination of the two and at least 2 sessions a week for muscle strengthening.

The recommendations for the over 65 are the same, or in any case the maximum possible activity compatible with the person’s abilities and capabilities.

How many calories do we burn?

Very often physical activity is started because we want to lose weight but how much does we burn to walk or run? Here’s how to calculate the calories we burn with the ride and the walk.

We have to talk about energy cost, that is, the amount of energy that is spent to travel a certain distance.

The energy cost for walking (at speeds between 1.8 and 5.4 km per hour) is fairly constant: 0.5Kcal per Kg weight of subject per Km path.

If a person weighs 80 Kg on a 5 Km distance will spend 0.5 x 80 x 5 = 200 Kcal, which is equivalent to 3/4 slices of bread.

The energy cost of the race is also fairly constant between one person and one person and is: 1 Kcal per Kg of weight for the Km traveled.

The same 80 Kg person running for 10 Km will consume 1 X 80 X 10 = 800 Kcal, which corresponds to a light meal.

Benefits of racing and aerobic work

Weight loss is not the only positive aspect of racing and aerobic work. Aerobic exercise can halve triglycerides and increase 60% of good cholesterol while having a nearly zero effect on total cholesterol (10% reduction).

To achieve these beneficial effects, however, you should consume at least 1000-1200 Kcal per week, ie, walk 3-5 Km daily and run for 4-6 Km three times a week.

How to run? Tips for reducing risks

Let’s get in on the racing tips: how should I run to avoid getting hurt?

It is very important to stretch before the race if you have tension in your muscles (and encourage the correct alignment).

Another important aspect is the length of the stride: making short strides allows to land with the mid-foot instead of the heel. This reduces the peak forces that stress the knees. For those people who have problems, uphill racing is much less stressful for the knees than the one on the flat and downhill.

As we all know, it is much better to run on a soft ground such as grass or athletics track rather than on the road, but it is equally important to vary the surfaces. For those who want to start  running also on a treadmill is good.

Shoes are fundamental and should be changed often, even if they still look good, they consume with time and become stiffer, which joints do not like.

Additionally, an adequate nutritional supplement is necessary to be able to run: drink enough water before, during and after the race and supplement with the nutrients it needs the body. If you do not do it is like leaving a car without gasoline, sooner or later will stop.

Remember to start gradual, as the race puts a mechanical stress on muscles, tendons, bones and cartilage, it is important to quantify this stress not to exceed the individual adaptability threshold. Daily stress applied quantification is used to avoid trauma. You should follow a progression of this kind: increase the volume by no more than 5-15 minutes per week and the intensity of a 3% per week and add progressively the slope. Do not increase all the stimuli at the same time.

Running as often as possible. Biomechanical learning processes and adaptation processes are facilitated with the most frequent stimuli. That is, shorter and more frequent runs are preferable to longer runs, but more sporadic.


I thank Dr. Marco Bonifazi Associate Professor of Physiology for Scientific Support.

How to run properly Not Only Twenty


How to run properly Not Only Twenty

Rita Palazzi
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