Cardio: Jogging For Every Type Of Runner

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Particularly when the weather is nice, it's lovely to lace up your running shoes and go for a jog. Even though it's good for your health, especially for your heart, it's not easy for everyone - which is why we've collected some tips to help each type of runner get going (again).

Table of contents

Running is the simplest method of cardio and health training - you just put your shoes on and go. Running has been our main form of exercise for millions of years. All of the body's functions are designed for it - and regular running training is perfect for optimising the cardiovascular system:

  • Heart rate and stroke volume increase
  • Resting heart rate is lowered
  • Cardiac output (the amount of blood that the heart pumps into the bloodstream in one minute) is increased
  • Oxygen saturation in the blood increases due to the increase in red blood cells
  • The vessels (arteries and veins) become more flexible
  • Capillarisation - and thus the oxygen supply transferring to the muscles - is improved
  • Lung volume increases

All of these effects combine to reduce blood pressure and increase performance and regeneration capacity both during training and in everyday life. You feel fitter and more powerful and also have the chance to compensate for the dwindling heart protection caused by the falling oestrogen levels from the menopause onwards.

In other words, all signs point towards running. But not every woman has enough "health logic" to regularly slip into her jogging trousers.

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Running training - anyone can run

You know about all the positive effects and still can't get your bum up? You don't know how to start? Running is just too boring for you? You would, but your knees hurt? Or you're already running and no longer feel any "success"? No problem. We have the right tips for each of the four running types - 1. Beginner Runner, 2. Running Grouch, 3. Injured Knee and 4. Eexperienced Runner:

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1. The Beginner Runner

Finally getting going! It's great that you've finally pulled the trigger and are ready to get running. People who are new to sport are usually highly motivated and want to achieve success quickly. However, the mind often wants more than the body is capable of at the beginning. The biggest mistake you can make when starting or returning to running is to completely exhaust yourself in the first session and crawl on your gums. Your body will be useless for days and your motivation will be gone.

So take it slow in the truest sense of the word. It's often your lungs that show you the limits of your running training. But joints, tendons, muscles and the cardiovascular system in particular need time to get used to the strain and must be introduced gently. 30 minutes of training is more than enough at the start and should not be done at a blistering pace.

In practice, this means

  • Start with, for example: Eight three-minute easy jogs with two-minute walking breaks in between.
  • If that goes well: jog six times for five minutes at an easy pace, with two minutes of walking in between.
  • Then: jog four times for eight minutes at an easy pace, with three minutes walking break in between.
  • Very slowly - perhaps after 2 or 3 weeks - build up to half an hour. And if you need longer, don't stress!

Running training - how fast should I go?

When building up your basic endurance as a starter, it is important to know your body in order to know how hard you can push it. In addition to general tips such as "Only run fast enough to keep yourself entertained!", measuring your heart rate can also help. Beginners should train at 60-70% of their maximum heart rate. In mathematical terms, this means:

226 - life age = maximum heart rate , of which train at 60 or 70%, i.e.: max. Heart x 0.6 or 0.7

For a 45-year-old woman, for example, this would be: 226 - 45 = 181, 181 x 0.7 = 127 HR

Now you don't have to measure your heart rate every minute and you don't have to worry if your heart rate is above or below the reference value. There are days when your heart rate soars right from the start   aybe you haven't had enough to drink or you're stressed. No need to panic. If necessary, a heart rate monitor can help you to learn to assess your exertion better.

Important: For people with heart disease, an examination in advance is an absolute must. And if you are unsure, it is better to be safe than sorry!

Developing routines during running training

Rest days are just as important as the running training itself. Because when we demand an unusual performance from our body, it is naturally weakened afterwards. However, it is precisely during these recovery phases that it improves its performance in the medium and long term: if the body realises that it is weakened after a training session, it rebuilds itself so that it is better equipped for the next challenge.

In order to increase your starting level, you therefore need breaks so that you can set the next training stimulus forexactly when the adaptation process reaches its peak. This may sound complicated, but with a little practice and self-awareness, you'll soon find out what makes your body tick and when it's ready for the next workout.

Ultimately, the key point is that jogging once every 4 weeks is better than nothing at all. For an adaptation effect, and therefore heart health, flexible blood vessels, blood pressure regulation and optimised lung volume, you need regularity. So develop routines to get and stay in rhythm. Three times a week is ideal. If you can only manage twice, then make sure you pedal a little more in between when cycling.


Morning, noon, evening - see what works best for you. Both in terms of your daily rhythm, your appointments and your energy resources. There is no perfect time that suits everyone. But remember:

  • If you train too late in the evening, your body is still so energised that problems falling asleep are exacerbated. This is because adrenaline and cortisol are released and your body needs at least 2 hours to wind down again. Usually running regulates your (stress) hormones and supports your sleep, just not when it's done at a late hour.
  • Treat yourself to a snack before your running training so that your body has energy available. A snack that gives you an immediate boost is ideal: a banana, a small slice of bread with almond butter or a handful of dried fruit. High-fibre foods, on the other hand, are generally great - but not right before a run. The same applies to large quantities of dairy products or very fatty foods - they will just sit in your stomach.
  • Do a little warm-up before your running training and move all your joints. However, you should only stretch your muscles after your jog.
  • Treat yourself to an extra portion of protein about 20 minutes after exercise to help your muscles and tissue regenerate. For example, a shake with XbyX Daily Energy.

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2. The Running Grouch

"You just have to keep at it, then it;ll feel great!" You know that jogging would be good for you, you've tried running - but every lap drags on and on no matter what.

Generally speaking, of course, nobody has to jog. You can also play football, ride a bike or attend regular cardio classes at the gym. The main thing is that your heart gets a continuous training stimulus.

Unfortunately, hardly any sport is as efficient and easy to implement in everyday life as jogging. It is flexible in terms of time and you neither need a lot of equipment nor are you dependent on other people. If you want to give jogging one last chance, perhaps these tips will help you:

  • Something for your ears: Who says it always has to be music? Listening to an audio book while running takes your mind off the routine. It's especially great if the story is exciting - a thriller to keep you guessing and thinking is ideal. Or you can use the time to listen to that podcast you've been meaning to listen to for a long time. A simple audio language course also gives you the feeling that you are using your time in a doubly meaningful way.
  • Set a goal: Don't feel any sense of purpose in just running round in circles? Then set yourself a goal. For example, sign up for a competition and train towards it bit by bit. There are people who take part in a competition almost every weekend - simply because they enjoy this environment so much. If you don't want to be quite so strict, it's also enough to set yourself a goal. Perhaps together with an equally competitive or slightly faster friend. The great thing is that once you have reached your goal, you can reward yourself. And then set new goals.
  • Optimise: When you do something, do you want to do it right? If so, you might enjoy gradually improving your running technique. You could attend a running seminar. Or resolve to pay attention to something special on every run. Today it's the position of your head, tomorrow it's the movement of your arms. A running ABC is of course also part of this - with a wide variety of jumping exercises. And have you ever tried barefoot running? Get creative and create your own personalised training.
  • Technique and tools: Admittedly - if you feel comfortable in this category, then running will soon no longer be a particularly cheap sport. But many of us are actually inspired by gadgets. It's fascinating when you can analyse your runs on your phone. Going on a zombie hunt via running apps, trying out different shoes or tools and consciously noticing the differences. Even a new running shirt is much more fun to jog around in than an old baggy shirt.
  • Brain training on the side: The cars are parked at the side of the road like yesterday? Learn the colours and remember them for the next training session. This may sound silly to some runners, but firstly time passes much faster with memory games like this, and secondly you train your brain. If this gets too boring, learn the number plates for the colours or look for completely different parameters on your route. When your brain is busy, you don't think about how much longer you "have" to run.
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3. The Injured Knee

Many runners suffer from knee pain because they put their knee joint under particularly monotonous strain. This pain is also known as runner's knee. Others already suffer from knee pain anyway, so they avoid jogging - for fear of pain or of causing even more damage. The important thing to remember is that you should not jog if you have acute inflammation. And jogging (just like anything involving jumping) is also not good if you have certain bone and cartilage damage.
See what endurance alternatives work for you:
  • Cycling is easier on the joints because the impact is not so great.
  • With the right technique, Nordic walking is much more than just leaf peeping and
  • Aqua gymnastics can be particularly strenuous.
There is no excuse for not doing any endurance training in the long term -cardiovascular training is too important for that! What is particularly relevant for you:
  • Muscle development: In many cases, knee pain is caused by the muscles and tendons embedded in the joint itself. Too few stabilising muscles or hardened muscles and a lack of flexibility contribute to pain and, in the worst case, can develop into chronic pain. In addition to targeted muscle building, working with a fascia roller also helps.
  • Foot muscles: When jogging, the foot muscles and joints bear a heavy load. The stronger they are, the easier it is to convert the impact energy into push-off energy so that the knee is also relieved. Helpful exercises for this are: towel claws, heel lifts, step stretching, foot bridge and, again, fascia training.
  • Shoes: When exercising, always wear shoes that provide ideal support for your feet and cushion any possible impact. Our feet are different, so get advice in a running shop and invest in shoes that are adapted to your individual foot position. An orthopaedist can be consulted if you have unusual foot positions.
  • Choice of route: Hilly terrain puts more strain on the knee, especially when jogging downhill. You should therefore focus on running routes with a flat elevation profile. However, if the route is downhill, it can help to take lots of small steps to take the strain off your knee. It goes without saying that an earthy surface that gives way is better than hard tarmac.

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4. The Experienced Runner

You run regularly, have your "regular run", can clear your head - but somehow it's not as effective as it used to be. No wonder, because the body gets used to exertion. It is economical, which means it only does as much as it needs to. There is no (or hardly any) further optimisation for the lungs and cardiovascular system. So if you manage your lap easily, it's time for variations. In training science, a distinction is made between basic endurance 1 and 2:

  • Basic endurance 1 is the basis: constant exertion, primarily in the area of aerobic energy production. This means that the required energy is provided from fats and carbohydrates using oxygen. Your muscles therefore always have enough oxygen available and you train at approx. 70% of your maximum heart rate. Your runs tend to be long and enduring and you stay primarily in the "comfort zone".
  • Basic endurance 1-2 is the intermediate range: the intensity is higher and amounts to 75 to 85 % of the maximum heart rate. As the intensity increases, the scope of the training sessions tends to reduce: Running training is short and strenuous. Alternatively, you can incorporate changes into your workout - such as hills, stairs or shorter, faster sections. Due to the higher intensity and the associated greater energy requirement, aerobic energy production is sometimes no longer sufficient, so the body provides additional energy through the anaerobic breakdown of carbohydrates. In other words: without sufficient oxygen. In this intermediate range between 1 and 2, the muscles burn but are not yet restricted in their performance.
  • Basic endurance 2 is the turbo igniter: now it's really about the hard training peaks to further develop basic endurance ability at a higher level. So this section is really only for fit, ambitious sports cracks. The training intensity is very high, the heart rate is between 80 and 90% of the maximum heart rate and is in the anaerobic threshold range: the energy requirement during exercise is primarily met without sufficient oxygen in the muscle, resulting in a sharp increase in the lactate concentration in the blood. Lactates are salts of lactic acid and are formed when the muscles need more oxygen for combustion during high performance than can be supplied by the blood. The body is no longer able to eliminate the amount of lactate produced, causing the muscle to become over-acidified and performance to drop. You may be familiar with this from HIIT training when you can't do any more jumps or you can't manage the last 15 seconds of spinning. It sounds strange to voluntarily expose yourself to a drop in performance. But if your cardiovascular system is already trained, new successes - and therefore further optimisation of your cardiovascular system - will only come if you keep working at this nasty threshold.

The transitions between basic endurance 1 and 2 are fluid and a precise distinction is neither necessary nor possible. While you can shift from one gear to the next in a car, there are many complex factors at work in the human organism.

So if the explanation was too complicated for you - and you are simply a "normal" experienced runner - it is enough to remember that your cardiovascular system always needs new stimuli. For beginners, calm, steady running is impulse enough. When you are more experienced, incorporate short sprints to the nearest lamppost, run or hop up and down the stairs a few times, choose new routes with hills or find other variations that suit you. And combine these from time to time with your quiet home circuit or a crisp, high-intensity session. Because ideally, we train everything: basic endurance 1, 2 and all the colourful facets in between. Let's get going!


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