I want to introduce to you my 11-year-old son, Markus. He will be my guest blogger for today's post. Like me, he is an avid runner. He is a member of his school's track team and has qualified for the Hershey's Regional Track and Field Games in California 3 years in a row. He enjoys both sprint and long distance running. His first 5k was on May 9, 2010, Mother's Day- his gift to me. Since then, he's become quite the runner, placing in the top 3 in his age group in all of his 5k events. And this year, he joined his first cross country team.
Markus suffers from asthma. But it hasn't stopped him from enjoying the sport he loves.
Below is a paper he wrote as a school assignment that I want to share with you.
How to Go Out for a Run
(The Right Way)
By Markus Guittap
“You gotta get outta that couch and go for a run sometime.” You have probably heard this saying before, but have probably ignored it because you feel you have better things to do like sit at your computer desk. All you need is a little encouragement and instructions. I can help you. You will learn what to do before the run, during the run, and what to do after you are sweating and panting. Well, what are you waiting for, move to the next paragraph!
So, you finally decided to run. You have your shoes untied, and you are wearing clothes appropriate for the weather. I would dress a little less because while you’re running, you may-I mean will get all hot and sweaty. And you will be spurting sweat like a water fountain if you dress like it is winter. But you don’t want to under dress because, well, that is disturbing. If you are appropriately dressed, then go to where you want to run!
You are all ready to run, right? Wrong. There are some more small, but oh, so important steps to do before your run. One of those steps is to do a short, slow jog. No, this isn't considered a run. The jog is to loosen up your muscles for the second step. That second step is... stretching! I hate stretching, but I know it is good for me. It is good for you too. You never want to pull a muscle. It is three days of nothing but pain and icing your injured muscle.
I know a stretch to make sure you don't pull a muscle. Place your foot against a sturdy vertical object with your heel on the ground and your toes flat on the wall, curb,etc. Now bend your knee towards the wall. Doing this stretches your calf. You may look up more stretches when you can. Now, for the moment we've all been waiting for...
It's time to run! Start off at a nice, easy pace. Don't go out too fast and use a lot of your energy. You have a lot more to run. You can gradually increase your speed a little bit later, but keep a steady pace. Don't worry about other people around you. Focus on your own run. Focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth. Breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth. Try to make your breathing in sync with your steps, like for every 3 steps, inhale or exhale, whichever is necessary. It is okay if you have to stop and drink water (which you brought, right?). When nearing the end of your run, try to use the remaining of your energy to go faster to the finish. This is called a "kick". Do this to either burn more calories, or get a higher place in a race. There is still one last thing to do before you go home.
Your last step is to...run some more! Not really. Well, maybe...yes. You have to do more running. Stop, before you break into tears, let me say this. This is an easy slow jog. It doesn't hurt. You are basically doing what you did before you started your run. It isn't hard. Just do a short, cool down jog and stretch. I hope you enjoyed your run!
I love running a lot. I have asthma so, me running proves that with a breathing disability, I can still run well. Some say running is boring and time-wasting. I think running is fun, and it brings the family together. It brought my family together. We all like to sign up for short races, usually 3 miles, as a family. Running is my favorite sports to do. It can be enjoyed by all ages. So what are you waiting for? Run again! (Just kidding...unless you want to.)