Do you want to start running?
One of the greatest aspects of walking or running is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, by anyone. All you need is motivation and a decent pair of shoes. It may also be advisable to get clearance from your doctor. Often people don’t know where to start.
Here are 11 simple tips to get you on your way.
Tip 1: Use appropriate gear
Even though you only need shoes to get you on your way, it is important that your shoes are correctly fitted and appropriate for your goals. Incorrect or worn out shoes are a common cause of injury. And of course don’t forget to Slip, Slop, Slap.
Tip 2: Set your goals
Setting realistic goals not only helps keep you motivated, but it is also important in injury prevention. Think short and long term in your goal setting. For example, The City to Surf this year can be a short term goal with a marathon next year as the long term goal.
Tip 3: Use a training guide
A well designed program will help you progress your training safely and reach your goals. It should include periods of base training and peaking, as well as allowing for a taper before the event. Click here to see how easy to follow 10 week half marathon training plan to help you get started!
Tip 4: Start slowly and gently then gradually progress
Too much too soon is a sure way to cause injury. By slowly increasing the time you spend running you ensure you aren’t over doing it.
Tip 5: Train first for distance then for speed
It is important to know you can run the distance before you run it fast. Build up the time you spend (from 15minutes to 20minutes, then up to 30minutes) before you increase your speed.
Tip 6: Allow adequate rest
Scheduled rest days are an important part of you training week. Your body needs time to adapt and recover to your new training load. Failure to do so will result in injury.
Tip 7: Vary your training
Variety is the spice of life. Try cross training on your rest days. Vary your route, train on different surfaces and vary the distances and times.
Tip 8: Specificity of training
Your training program should reflect the terrain, conditions and style of the event. Eg: Hill reps for a hilly course, speed work for short a course, Long Slow Distance runs when training for a marathon.
Tip 9: Nutrition and Hydration
Diet is an often neglected component of training. Don’t forget to get plenty of complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables. It is also important to fuel your body during the event. If you are exercising for more than two hours then your body needs more than just water.
Tip 10: Listen to your body
“The human body communicates effectively, we are often just deaf”. It is normal to feel a little achy after training but any persistent niggles should be addressed. Your training program is only a guide and should be adjusted for illness and other misadventures.
Tip 11: Have fun
Don’t forget to enjoy the experience. Run with friends, take your dog along for a walk, or even consider joining a running group. Making it fun means you’re more likely to stick with it and achieve your goals.