Be clear about your goal for running, e.g. keeping fit, doing a charity run / challenge,
be competitive etc…. e.g. if you want to just keep fit, don’t worry about looking
at half marathon training schedules.
Take it easy to start with because;
1. if you’ve not done much running for a while it takes time for you body to adjust
to the change in load, your bones and muscles respond to increased exercise by becoming
tougher/stronger, but it takes time.
2. with us living in the 21st century (most of us anyway…) our bodies have got used
to sofas, desks and memory foam mattresses. We don’t have to climb trees, jump over
rivers and club a woolly mammoth to death for our dinner, consequently a lot of important
muscles are underused and imbalanced vs other muscles. This causes a lot of problems
to new runners and strengthening these are as important as running (in my opinion)
knee problems are a common source of injury to new runners often caused by weak
thigh and butt muscles. I often go to pilates and/or another ‘core stability’ exercise
class once a week to keep on top of things.
If you’re a complete beginner, I wouldn’t go for runs of more than 20minutes to start
with, incorporating walk sections and by running sections, www.runnersworld.co.ukhas training schedules, for 5k and 10k races, they’ll give you an idea how to progress,
shortening the walk interval and increasing the run interval. Don’t go too fast,
if you are find breathing a bit difficult, slow down. The first few weeks are about
getting your body used to running. Get through that and you’ll soon be away….
One rule of thumb is “Don’t increase weekly mileage or individual run by more than
10%” Naturally I’ve always ignored this rule, but then I have been injured a fair
bit in the past.
This is a slightly contentious bit…… there are a couple of camps when it come to
how to run, some believe we can naturally run and any problems you encounter are
due to you your natural ‘issues’ and can be corrected by techy shoes and expensive
podiatry treatments, then there’s the ‘barefoot’ hippy camp, who also believe we
have a natural ability to run, but it has hindered by our squishy techy shoes and
lack of mammoth hunting…. I tend more towards the hairy shoeless camp, though have
muted my enthusiasm a bit. Again this is my opinion (and also of many others) but
running is a technique sport just like any other, get it wrong and at best you might
not perform to your ability, at worse get injured.
1. relax – all the time, very important!!
2. don’t stride out – sticking your leg out front when you land acts as a brake,
slows you down, uses energy and can ruin you knees (had a lot of physio to find this
3. try and lift your feet off the ground rather than push, imagine running quietly,
over hot coals, on water or something like that.
4. never go for a ‘plod’ always go for a run, make it quality even if it’s only short,
and never feel like you’ve got to get the miles in – I’ve always trained less than
all the runners I know, and am competitive with most of them, rest is important too…
5. relax – like I said very important…..
See other pages for more on my thoughts on running technique