We’re thinking about training for a Light Run’ 5km run on Saturday. Some of us are seasoned runners and some of us have just bought our first ever pair of non converse runners. So to help us get in shape, we’ve asked a pro outdoor runner guru to give us some tips. He believes ‘you don’t need to punish yourself to get fit’ so we like his style. Here are The Top 10 Running Tips for Beginners.
1. Start where you’re at
If you haven’t ran in years, or ever, or done any other exercise in a long time, do not expect to run a 5k on your first night. Start with the run/walk method – go slowly and don’t run more than 3 times a week. This way you’ll gradually build your pace and distance and prevent injury.
2. Always warm up, cool down and stretch
Before running you should do some dynamic stretches (such as rolling your shoulders back and hip circles) followed by a brisk 5 minute warm up walk. This is essential for preventing injuries. After your run, walk briskly for about 5 minutes and then finish with static stretches that you hold for at least 30 seconds. This should prevent sore muscles the next day!
3. Listen to your body
Never ignore pain – it’s a sign that something is wrong. Try to figure out what is causing the pain, have a good sports massage and take time off running when needed. Running through pain, which runners often talk about, will only make an injury worse.
4. Focus on your breathing
Proper breathing is the key to running. Your breath should be long and steady. Breathe deeply in to the bottom of your lungs and when you get out of breath remember to focus on your exhale and slow down. Breathe through your mouth – this way you can take in more oxygen.
5. Run with a group
Running can be a great social activity as you can chat while you run, which makes it much more fun and time seems to fly by. The support from your running buddies will keep you going when you feel like stopping.
6. Cross train
More and more runners are taking up yoga as they realise its benefits for injury prevention, strengthening muscles and improving breathing. If you can’t get to a class. Other cross training activities for runners are pilates and swimming.
7. Wear the right shoes
It’s important to get proper running shoes as early as possible in your running career. Go to a good running shop, have a gait analysis done and get professional advice on the type of shoes that are best for you.
8. Create a schedule and stick to it
It can be easy to find excuses not to run. To prevent this schedule an appointment with yourself to run, and put it in your diary. Then treat it like any other appointment – only cancel if you absolutely have to (i.e. you’re sick or injured). Remember that it takes a few weeks to create a habit but it soon becomes routine.
9. Know when not to run
They say the difference between a good runner and a great runner is that a great runner knows when not to run. Discipline is important but there are times when you need rest. If you’re unwell or if you have aches or pains then do take a break from running. Make sure to rest, visit a physio or sports massage therapist and look after yourself. Never ever run through a pain or an injury.
and last (but by no means least..)
10. Enjoy it..
You don’t need to punish yourself to get fit so take it at your own pace and enjoy it!
A true love for sports