Run Forrest, Run!

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As you might have guessed, this article is about taking up running as a sport.

I never was a huge fan of running. It seemed boring. Now I think, if I could walk, I would run. A buddy, who also is not a fan of running, actually wants to train to run a marathon at some point in his life. Mind you he doesn’t run, he is very active, just not in running. The only thing he “runs” is his business, a dent repair shop in Denver & CO springs. But, to stand by him, I’ve decided to help him out. I may not be able to run with him, but I am creating his program to learn to run. That being said, I thought I would share it with my readers. This program is great for the novice runner. Enjoy!

Running – Part 1

Apart from running being fun and a rewarding work out, it has some other benefits too. If you think about it, running has such a universal appeal! It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, tall, short, thin, or fat – it doesn’t discriminate. It’s a relatively inexpensive sport, unlike Cricket or Horse-riding. It can be done with minimal frills, if you want to. Also, something unique about running is that you can mentally check out for a while when you’re running – you can listen to music, talk, and enjoy the scenery around you.

So, for those of you who are considering starting to run, here’s a short training guide –

  1. Only Walk – This is the beginning, where you basically try and get your body used to the idea of a little physical exercise
  • Week 1 – Start by walking once a day for 20 minutes, 3 days a week
  • Week 2 – Walk once a day for 20 minutes, on alternate days, 4 days a week
  • Week 3 – From here on, the idea is to walk for longer periods at a time. Walk once a day for 20-25 minutes
  • Week 4 – Walk once a day, for 25-30 minutes, for alternate days, 4 days a week.

You can continue this for 1-2 more weeks, until you’re comfortable with the schedule

  1. Walk more, run less – From here you on, you start ambling at an easy pace. But you’re still going to be walking most of the time.
  • For 2-3 weeks – Start your routine by walking for 10 minutes. Then for the next 10-15 minutes, you follow a cycle of jogging at a very easy pace for 1 minute, then walking for the next 2 minutes. When you’re done with this cycle, you end with a walk for 10 minutes again to cool off. You could also jog for like, 30 seconds, if you’re unable to do so for a minute. Do this on alternate days, 4 times a week.
  1. Start running more, walking less – Now this is when you start running (again, by this I mean jogging at an easy pace) a little more.
  • Each week – This is the same as step 2. But in the jogging-walking cycle, you run for say, 1.5 minutes, and walk for 1.5 minutes. You gradually increase the jogging time and reduce the walking time by 0.5 minutes each week.

Continue with step 3 for like, 8-10 weeks. The goal is that by the end of step 3, you should be able to run for 15 minutes at a go.

Then every week, you can try and push your running time by 5 minutes, until you can run for about 30-40 minutes at a stretch.

This is just one kind of training schedule. You can find more detailed training plans on the web. Keep in mind, that all the training described above will yield optimal results only if you run with the right posture. Having the correct posture is also important from the point of view of preventing injuries.

As always, maintain an erect posture, keep your back straight.

Keep your head naturally straight. Look ahead towards the horizon, not down at your feet or the ground.

As far as your shoulders are concerned, try not to droop, but keep them relaxed and loose.

Move your arms back and forth, not across your torso. Elbows bent at approximately 90 degrees. Don’t clench your fist tightly, instead curl your fingers so that they just touch your palm.

Don’t lift your knee too high, and when your feet touch the ground, it should be directly beneath your body.

Now that we’ve covered a rough training schedule and posture, in the second part, we’ll discuss the different types of running exercises.

Just Horsing Around

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In my last post, I wrote about a fairly conventional and well known game, Cricket. This blog is about a sport which isn’t as typical as that, but it’s still popular and has its share of enthusiasts. I’m talking about horse-riding.

Of course, you can also call it ‘Equestrianism’, if you want to be all pedantic about it (see what I did there?). Anyway, Equestrianism refers to the skill or the sport of horse riding. It includes a wide range of activities and sports involving horse riding.

But wait a minute, you say. It seems that you’re just sitting on a horse commanding it to run around hither and tither! The horse is the one actually doing all the work! How is that a sport?!

Well, a sport has 2 aspects to it – physical and competitive. Equestrianism definitely is a sport because it has both of these things in abundance.

So, how exactly is horse riding physically straining?

I wouldn’t need to explain that to anyone who’s ever tried riding a horse, even for a short while. A beginner will quickly notice how sore his body feels after riding. For those who haven’t had the opportunity, think about this – you’re constantly fighting to maintain balance, bouncing on a galloping horse. You have to apply pressure with your legs and change your posture in order to guide it. Wouldn’t all of this require some amount of strength and endurance?

The most obvious workout during horse-riding is for your core strength. The core is commonly used to refer to the torso or the midsection of the body. The muscle groups in the core act as a stabilizer for the rest of the body, and they are used daily for the most mundane things, like bending and reaching underneath the sofa to pick up something you dropped. Trying to ride a horse well and maintaining balance keeps the core engaged.

While riding, your legs and thighs absorb the impact of the horse’s movements, thus you’re exerting your lower body muscles too. You’re constantly pinching your thighs around the horse to remain on the saddle. Also, while steering the horse, you use your arm muscles quite a bit.

The Gentlemen’s Game

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The title of this blog alludes to a very popular bat and ball game. Err… Baseball? Nope. I’m referring to its English cousin, the other popular bat and ball game – Cricket.

Cricket has approximately 2.5 billion fans worldwide, making it the 2nd most popular sport in the world, right after Soccer. The countries playing Cricket internationally can be broadly divided into 2 groups: the ones which play Test Cricket, which is considered by purists to be the authentic form of Cricket, and the ones which don’t. The ones which play test Cricket are Full Members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and currently, there are 10 such members. They include India, England, Australia, Sri Lanka, and so on. Mostly though, Cricket became popular in the nations that were former British colonies, with the notable exception of the USA.

The earliest definite reference to a Cricket game can be found in a court case in 1597, where a coroner by the name of John Derrick mentioned that he and his friends used to play ‘creckett’ 50 years ago, on a piece of land in Guildford, Surrey. This establishes that the first game of Cricket was certainly played in Surrey circa 1550, if not earlier.

It is believed that Cricket was growing in popularity in South-East England during the 17th century. The first Cricket club was founded in Hambledon in 1760, and it went on to become the most influential club, until 20 years later, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was founded. The MCC became a premier club, and a custodian of the rules of the game.

Cricket became even more popular by the mid-18th century, with people betting on the games, and soon these gamblers starting forming their own 11 member cricket teams to increase their chances of winning.

Cricket was introduced to places like North America, Canada, India, and Australia in h 17th and 18th centuries, because they were all English colonies at some point of time.

Conceptually, the objective of the game is standard across all its formats (more on that in a bit). There are 2 teams, each consisting of 11 players. Each team takes turns to bat. A coin toss decides which team bats first. One team will bat, while the other team will field. The batting team has to score as many runs as they can, while the fielding team has to prevent them from scoring. The team which scores more runs wins.

2 batsmen from the batting team will be out on the field to bat. They will be the ones scoring runs. They stand at both ends of the pitch. Batsmen can score runs by knocking the ball past the boundary, or by running between the pitch. When a ball goes directly past the boundary without coming in contact with the ground, the batsman has scored 6 runs. If the ball makes contact with the ground, or slides to the boundary, he has scored 4 runs. The players in the fielding team will either bowl or field at any point of time. Bowlers are the ones who hurl the ball at the batsmen in the hopes of dismissing him. A batsmen can be dismissed when the ball hits the wicket, or when a fielder intercepts the ball directly. They can also be dismissed if any part of his body prevents the ball from hitting the wicket.

Recreational Baseball

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Possibly one of the greatest movies of all time was The Sandlot!  It made you long to be a kid again and live in the moment of summer with your best friends, playing outside all day and dealing with the instances that seemed like the biggest thing in the world.

All the characters in this beloved movie added a little bit of humor and spark to a  summer filled with Babe Ruth, older girls and baseball in the midst of junior high and middle school.  Centered around major league baseball and the passion that young boys seem to find it made you long to be part of a team and a group of friends so close.

  This being said, playing recreational baseball is one of the best community based sports and recreational activities that anyone can do.  Whether it’s a team of friends or a group of strangers who all signed up with one thing in common, the love of baseball, a fun time is sure to be had.

On our blog we will share different tidbits and baseball facts that we find interesting and fun.  We will also promote recreational baseball leagues throughout different towns and cities.  Should any of our readers or blog visitors want to share any information on baseball leagues in their area we encourage you to email or contact us.  

Our goal with this blog site is to get people involved in a community based baseball or softball league and have fun doing so.  When we can bring people and communities together you will also find lower crime rates and a better sense of neighborhood involvement for our children and our families.

Baseball is one of the greatest sports out there and is loved by many.  Whether you have children you want to get into little league or perhaps a son or daughter who would like to play for fun outside of school, or maybe you are looking for something for you and your spouse to do on the weekends finding a baseball league near you can fulfill all these desires.

Stay tuned and continue to visit our site to learn, have fun and promote baseball!