- Running is a state of mind. The only thing that
determines your success or enjoyment of taking part is the way you think.
Whatever your weight, size, shape or height, however fast or slow you run,
it will relieve your stress, burn your calories, give you time to yourself,
enable you to make loads of new friends and enhance your self-esteem. It
doesn't matter what any other person or any stopwatch thinks, you’re doing
it for yourself because it makes you feel good.
- Having another woman or a group of women to run with
on a regular basis will help keep you motivated and ensure your safety. Plus,
it's a lot more fun than running alone. Women runners become more than
training partners; they're confidantes, counsellors and doctors too.
- Fast running burns more calories than slow running,
but slow running burns more calories than just about any other activity. In
short, nothing will help you lose weight and keep it off the way running
does. On top of that, it's inexpensive, it's accessible and if necessary, it
can be done while pushing a stroller.
- Women run approximately 10 percent slower than men
based on the difference between men's and women's world records and although
elite women have been improving twice as fast as elite men over the past
three decades, women are not going to beat them just yet. However, we all
know of individual women that can far outpace most men and Paula Radcliffe’s
marathon world record time of 2hours 15minutes, is faster than what 99.9
percent of the world's male population are capable of achieving. So don’t
ever feel inferior or let anyone tell you that women are. We’re getting
- Just because you've got a partner, a house, a
full-time job, young children and elderly relatives to cook for, wash for,
iron for, clean for and ferry about doesn't mean you don't have time to run.
Running is time-efficient and the best stress-reducer on the market. You
need this time. Taking it for yourself (by, say, letting your husband
baby-sit while you run) will benefit the whole family. So rearrange your
schedule because the benefits are life changing.
- No matter what your size, it's a good idea to
wear a sports bra when you run. By controlling breast motion, a sports bra
will make you feel more comfortable. Look for one that stretches
horizontally but not vertically. And, most importantly, try it on before you
buy. A sports bra should fit snugly, yet not feel too constrictive. Run or
jump in place to see if it gives you the support you need.
- Men and women will never be equals in the urination
department. Men "whiz" through public toilets, while women stand in long
slow lines and when it comes to running, men enjoy the ultimate convenience.
However, a woman runner doesn't have to be a prisoner of her anatomy. Simply
find a private place behind a tree or dense shrubbery, squat and pull the
lining of your shorts over to one side. Just beware of using unfamiliar
leaves for toilet paper.
- Women generally have narrower heels and feet than men,
so when you're buying running
your best bet will be a pair designed especially for women. If the shop you
go to hasn’t got a women’s shoe section, then walk out and go to one that
has. However, everybody is different and the bottom line is to buy the shoe
that gives the best fit and passes the Dudley Ladies Good Shoe Test. If
after going to a specialist shoe shop for runners, such as Sweatshop etc,
you’re still getting lower limb aches and pains or blisters, you may have a
gait problem and should consult a podiatrist who specializes in treating
- Controlled anaerobic training intervals such as
Dudley Ladies speed sessions, hill reps and fartlek training is the fastest
way we know to fitness and may lead to gains in strength and speed similar
to those produced by steroids but without the noxious side effects. Why?
Because High-intensity anaerobic running is one of the most potent
stimulators of natural human growth hormones i.e. those that contribute to
stronger muscles and, ultimately, enhanced performance.
- Speedwork allows you to explore the boundaries of
your ability and can add an exciting element to your regular running. Though
you may have taken up running just for fitness, after a while it can be fun
to see just how fast you can go. Start with short "pickups" (bursts of
speed) sprinkled throughout a regular run and move up to formal, once-a-week
interval sessions for example, running four to six fast 400s with 200-metre
recovery jogs in between. You'll be delighted with the results.
- Exploring your competitive side can offer benefits
beyond running. Racing can help you tap into a goal-setting, assertive
and self-disciplined side of your personality. Channelled correctly, these
attributes can boost your success in other parts of your life-such as in the
- One of the smartest things a woman runner can do
is to include strength training in her weekly regimen. Lifting weights can
help prevent injuries by correcting the muscle imbalances caused by running.
It has also been proven to enhance bone health and elevate moods.
- Health benefits from running. Heart disease in
the United States kills 10 times more women than breast cancer each year.
One of the best weapons for fighting heart disease is exercise. Running in
particular, lowers your blood pressure and resting heart rate, raises your
"good" HDL cholesterol levels and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
- Medical wisdom upholds that moderate exercise
during a normal pregnancy is completely safe for the baby. The most
important precaution is to avoid getting overheated ( it is believed that a
core body temperature above 101 degrees could increase the risk of birth
defects). To make sure you're staying cool enough, early in your pregnancy
take your temperature rectally immediately after a run. As long as your
temperature is below 101 degrees, you can maintain that same level of effort
throughout your pregnancy. If you increase your intensity or duration, check
your temperature again. Also, skip the post-run hot tub.
- A Harvard University study found that women that
ran produce a less potent form of estrogen than their sedentary
counterparts. As a result, women runners cut by half their risks of
developing breast and uterine cancer and by two-thirds their risk of
contracting the form of diabetes that most commonly plagues women.
- The two minerals women runners need to pay the
most attention to are calcium and iron. (Iron is especially important for
menstruating women.) Your RDA for calcium is 1,200 milligrams; good sources
are dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, canned sardines
and salmon. Your RDA for iron is 15 milligrams; foods high in iron include
liver, fortified dry cereals, Cream of Wheat, beef and spinach. Note: Women
runners who train intensively, have been pregnant in the past two years or
consume fewer than 2,500 calories a day should get more than routine blood
tests for iron status, since these test only for anaemia, the final stage of
iron deficiency. Instead, request more revealing tests, including those for
serum ferritin, transferrin saturation and total iron-building capacity.
- There's no
need to pass up a run or a race just because you're having your period.
If you're suffering from cramps, running will often alleviate the pain, due
to the release during exercise of pain-relieving chemicals called
endorphins. Speedwork or a hill session can be especially effective,
according to researcher Jody Weitzman of Women's Health and Support
Services. To guard against leakage, try using two tampons (side by side) for
- Running helps produce healthy skin. According to
dermatologists, running stimulates circulation, transports nutrients and
flushes out waste products. All of this leads to a reduction in subcutaneous
fat, making skin clearer and facial features more distinct.
- If you become underweight through dieting too much
and your periods become light or nonexistent, you may be endangering your
bones. Amenorrhea (lack of a monthly period) means that little or no
estrogen is circulating in your body. Estrogen is essential for the
replacement of bone minerals. Amenorrheic women can stop but not reverse the
damage by taking estrogen and getting plenty of calcium. Any woman with
infrequent periods or no periods should consult her gynaecologist,
preferably one sensitive to the needs of runners. Have your Body Fat
Percentage checked regularly.
- If you were a regular runner before you became
pregnant, you might have a bigger baby, which is good news, since larger
infants tend to be stronger and weather physical adversity better.
at Columbia University found that women who burned up to 1,000 calories a
week through exercise gave birth to infants weighing 5 percent more than
offspring of inactive moms. Those who burned 2,000 calories per week
delivered babies weighing 10 percent more.
- If you ran early in your pregnancy, you might
want to try switching to a lower-impact exercise during the latter stages
and after delivery. Due to the release of the hormone relaxin during
pregnancy, some ligaments and tendons might soften, making you more
vulnerable to injury. Walking, swimming, stationary bicycling and pool
running (you'll be even more buoyant than usual) are good choices.
- Trying to lose
fat by eating less and less and running more and more doesn't work.
The more you exercise and the less you eat, the more likely your body is to
"hibernate." That is, you'll conserve calories and thwart your efforts to
lose fat. The better bet is to exercise reasonably and to increase your food
intake early in the day to fuel your training. Eat breakfast, lunch and an
afternoon snack. Then eat lightly for dinner and afterward.
- Running doesn't make your breasts sag or make your
uterus collapse. Believe it or not, these old myths resurface from time
to time. In fact, running tightens and firms all the muscles it uses, so it
will help prevent sagging rather than cause it. There are no recorded cases
of running resulting in a fallen uterus (or any other organ, for that
matter). Where this idea got started is a mystery.
- "That time of the month" (or even the few days
preceding it) is not the time when women run their worst. The hardest time
for women to run fast is about a week before menstruation begins (a week
after ovulation). That's when women's levels of the key hormone progesterone
peak, inducing a much-higher-than-normal breathing rate during exercise. The
excess ventilation tends to make running feel more difficult than usual.
- If your nursing baby gags and spits your breast milk
back at you, it may be because babies dislike the taste of post-exercise
breast milk, which is high in lactic acid and imparts a sour flavour. A
study at Indiana University found that nursing moms who logged 35 minutes on
the treadmill faced off with grimacing, reluctant infants if they nursed
soon afterward. Researchers recommend that you either collect milk for later
feeding or breast-feed before running.
- Running with headphones outdoors is a safety
hazard in more ways than one. You won't be able to hear cars, cyclists or
someone approaching who intends to do you harm. Attackers will always pick a
victim who looks vulnerable. When you have headphones on, that means you.
- It may not be much consolation, but men are
sometimes verbally harassed and occasionally threatened on the run, just as
women are. Run smart, but don't let insignificant taunting limit your
freedom. Runners are in it together.
- Women who run alone should take precautions:
Leave a note at home stating when you left, where you'll be running and when
you expect to return. Carry a personal alarm or self-defence spray. Stick to
well-populated areas, and don't always run the same predictable route. Avoid
running at night. Don't wear jewellery or headphones. Pay attention to your
surroundings. Carry ID, but include only your name and an emergency phone
- Running with a dog provides the best of both
worlds; you get to run alone but with a friend. A dog is
a faithful companion who will go anywhere anytime and a loyal guardian
who'll discourage anyone from harming you. The optimal running dog is
medium-sized with a bloodline bred for endurance. An easy rule of thumb:
Hunting breeds make the best runners.
- Dudley Ladies consider every woman runner to be an
athlete, whether she's fast or slow, tall or short, small or large and
you should think of yourself as the same.