Running has become a staple in many people’s lives, particularly during the pandemic. As one of the few means of getting out and about through lockdowns, it’s not surprising to see that running and jogging activities increased by 65% during the height of the pandemic in 2020. It’s a hobby that is sticking around too – in one study, all of the runners who said they were spurred to pick up running because of COVID-19 said they would continue to go running and jogging once the pandemic is over.
Whether you’re just setting out or have been running for years, however, all runners have common questions they want answering! We gathered up the most commonly asked running queries on Google from 2021 to help resolve those burning questions for entering the new year in 2022.
Is jogging on the spot good exercise?
Searches for “Is jogging on the spot good exercise?” increased by 367%, and given many of us were stuck at home during the data’s timeframe, it’s easy to see why. For those of us in quarantine, staying active meant staying within the confines of our homes. Would jogging on the spot tide us over just as well as heading outside?
The answer is yes – any form of running or jogging counts as aerobic exercise, which gets your muscles moving, strengthens your core, raises your heartbeat, supports healthy circulation, and improves lung capacity. This is good to know for the colder months too – too chilly to face a jog around the block? Stay home and jog on the spot!
Is a 9-minute mile good?
The question “Is a 9-minute mile good?” soared by 700% as people searched for a benchmark on their miles.
Of course, everyone’s fitness level is different. Depending on your genetics, age, and how much you exercise, the time it takes you to complete a mile will vary. On average, however, a non-competitive runner could run a mile in 9 to 10 minutes. For beginners, you’re more likely to be around the 12-to-15-minute mark.
How to pace yourself when running
Pacing yourself is crucial for a good run, so it’s not surprising that “How to pace yourself when running” increased by 367% with new runners flocking to the streets.
Here are some top tips for pacing yourself on a run:
- Get your cardiovascular system warmed up first. Do you often feel like your lungs are on fire after a short time running? Heavy breathing too soon into a run can be a sign that you didn’t warm up properly. Make sure you’re ready to go with a light jog or slow exercise to prepare your cardiovascular system before a run.
- Take it slower. It seems obvious, but a slower pace will allow you to run for longer. Ideally, you want to be running at a pace that allows you to keep up a conversation. This will stop you from exhausting yourself too soon.
- Control your breathing. Every few steps, take controlled breaths in and out.
- Use the run-walk method to build up your mileage, which will, in turn, help you run longer each outing. It’s easy to do – run for a while, then take a “walking break”. Keep repeating this pattern and you’ll find your running sections become longer each time.
How soon after eating can I run?
“How soon after eating can I run?” saw a search increase of 1,100%.
Ideally, you don’t want to be doing any exercise right after eating. Doing so can interrupt digestion, which causes stomach pains and messes with your performance. As a rough guide, you want to wait around 30 to 60 minutes after eating a snack. If you’ve just eaten a proper meal, you’ll want to give it three to four hours before lacing up your men’s or women’s trainers for a run.
That being said, everyone’s metabolism is different. Some people may well feel a boost of energy by eating before working out. It’s all about what works best for you.
How to run in the heat
Runners are always looking forward to the summer months, with searches for “How to run in the heat” rising by 367%.
Running in the heat carries risks, so you’ll need to make a few changes to keep yourself both safe and comfortable.
- You’ll be sweating more, which can lead to dehydration. Be sure to carry fluids with you on your summer run.
- Light, breathable clothing is essential. Steer clear of cotton – this traps heat and clings to sweat, which will only make you warmer.
- Avoid running on an empty stomach. Have a healthy meal a few hours before exercise so that you have plenty of energy for your run.
- Pick a route that sticks to the shade. This will help keep you cool and protect you from sunburn.
- Make use of walking breaks as needed. Try not to push yourself – you will likely not be able to perform to the same level as you would on a cooler day.
With these solutions in hand, you’re ready to take your running to the next level!