Running tips for beginners
1. Get some advice for your running shoes. See a podiatrist or a specialist running store to get fitted or the right shoe for you
2. Go easy – as a beginner err on the side of caution when increasing your running
3. Get some help – Running is a community and runners are always willing to help each other out. So speak to other runners for advice
4. Join a group or follow a training program from an expert to help keep you motivated
5. Find a friend – running is always fun but its more fun when you can share the experience with a friend
6. Always stretch, always!!! Stretching helps to improve your flexibility, mobility and helps reduce the risk of injury. If you’re not great at stretching yourself do some yoga, or head for a stretching class
7. Set a goal – keep the goal achievable to help build your confidence and experience and then as you get more experience make your goals a little more challenging
8. Add variety – change your location of your runs to keep it interesting
9. Keep a diary – either manually or electronically write down everything you do. Its rewarding when you can look back at what you’ve achieved
10. Make it a habit – like most things running works best when it’s a habit. You don’t have to think about it you just put on your gear and your runners and out you go. So get out on your run days no matter what. It will become easier
11. Rest – get as much sleep as possible. Remember to have your planned off days and get in some cross training and some walking too.
12. Walk breaks are ok – there is nothing wrong with taking walk breaks when you are out running especially when starting out. Your body will thank you for it and you will be able to get more distance under your belt
13. You’re a runner – It doesn’t matter how fast, how slow, how far or how little you run, if you run you are a runner.
Running tips for intermediate runners
So you’ve been running for a while and have built up to the level of an intermediate runner. What now? What should you look out for? How do you continue to improve without increasing the risk of injury?
Here are some tips
1. Do more of everything – You are now doing more kilometres of running than when you were a beginner, but what about all the other things that also help to become a better runner. Are you resting and sleeping well. Your body needs to recover and while its true that the fitter your become the quicker you will recover you still need to make sure you are getting a good amount of rest. How much rest is enough? Its different for everyone and it can be impacted by other things happening in your life so the best thing to do is get to know your body and listen to it. You’ll also need to stretch more with the increase in activity and take a closer look at your food intake so you can fuel your body better for the extra workload. You will also need to increase your water intake, once again to cater for the extra work you are doing.
2. Take a rest day if you need it – We often get excited when we start to improve our running we catch the running bug and we want to keep running. But again it’s important to listen to your body and take those important rest days. If you’re feeling a little flat take a walk and get the blood and oxygen flowing you’ll feel better for it and it will more than likely help with your next run
3. Warm ups – warm ups become more important with the extra work load too, you are running further and probably faster than when you were a beginner so you are placing your body under a higher amount of stress. You need to prepare for this by warming up properly. Warm ups should consist of some mobility work and some run throughs. Give your body a chance to get ready for your run by slowly increasing the intensity of your warm up, building it up and getting to the level of your actual run.
4. Reward yourself – You’ve stepped it up for the past month so why not reward yourself, maybe with a massage a new running kit or new runners. Or even better set yourself a goal for the next month of training and the incentive for achieving it is a reward.
5. Be patient!! Nothing changes in terms of increasing your workload from when you were a beginner slow and steady increases are the name of the game. No more than 10% increase in your distance from week to week and if you increase your intensity one week don’t also increase your kilometres that week.