12 running tips for beginners

Well hello there 🙂

Janae from The Hungry Runner Girl has really inspired me to start blogging. I loved reading about her running tips for new runners here and it inspired me to publish the running tips I wrote for new runners taking part in a charity 5K race back in December.

1) Sign up for a race

I find that preparing for a race is the best motivation! Good news is that you have already done that 🙂 After training for a half-marathon in 2011, I stopped running after the race. Big mistake. I had to start my training almost from scratch for this year’s so this time I am making sure not to stop!

2) Get the right shoes:

You do not have to suffer from knee/shin pain when running. I used to choose my running shoes based on their price and colour until I got a bit more serious about running. Different shoes will offer a different type of cushioning and support. Also, you might want to get a pair half a size bigger to leave room for when your feet swell from running. Finally, your running shoes have a certain “mileage to them” and if you are experiencing any pain, it might simply be time to change them. Shops like Decathlon, runnersneed and Nike usually offer a tailored fitting session where they will determine what type of support you need and let you try the shoes on a treadmill.

This is a very good site to get more info: http://www.shoeguide.co.uk/exec/content/advice

3) Dress like a runner

I really like wearing running gears, it instantly motivate me more to go running if I “look like a runner”. More importantly running gears are usually made of
breathable materials which can only make running more pleasant. With this cold weather, you want to have different layers of breathable material otherwise you might not get rid of the sweat effectively and get a cold. I like the Nike ones a lot and also Decathlon’s. For women, get a good running bra!!!!! This will definitely make all the difference.

4) Warm up and stretch

It is very important to warm up before setting off for your run, especially in this weather.My best friend who is a physio has been recommending me to do “active warm up” instead of stretching. Indeed, it is difficult to stretch cold muscles but you also want to contract said muscles for running so it is a bit counterproductive. I found this video online that groups some of the exercises I do for my warm up: http://www.fitsugar.com/Active-Warmup-Running-15171594I also circle my ankles in both directions to warm them up, add a few squats to wake up the glutes and a few jumping jacks to increase my heart rate.After your run, you should spend some time stretching your calves, hamstrings, glutes, thighs, back and arms, hip flexors, holding your poses for at least 30sec.This seems to be a good routine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE0U4_2pHOY

5) It is OK to walk

I think that it is important to remember that it is OK to walk, especially when you are just starting. Interval training is what makes me improved the most. One of my friends did the NHS couch to 5K programme and was very positive about it so it can be something to check.Try alternating the running and walking times, progressively decreasing the time spent walking. Interval training can then be used to improve by alternating 45sec high intensity exercise with 1 min recovery for instance. One good way of knowing how hard you are pushing yourself is by doing the “talking test”. If you are able to speak while running, the intensity is probably 5-6/10. If you can speak but are out of breath the intensity is 7-8/10. If you cannot hold a conversation then 8-10/10. You can use this as a guide of how hard you are pushing yourself.

6) Eat/drink right

You might want to eat 30min before your run but I would not advise you to eat just before going. At least that does not work for me. You might discover some foods that do not agree with you before your runs. You also want to stay hydrated and perhaps have a drink before you set off and for sure one after you finish. Many people carry a water bottle when running. It is comforting but personally I do not like carrying one. I find that it off balances me a little.

7) Keep track of your progress

If you have a smart phone, I can only recommend the Nike+ add. It is very motivating to see your improvements and thanks to this app you will have a record of the route you ran, the time the weather conditions etc. Mapmyrun is also a good website to log in your training. Try to be consistent, going for 10 min is better than not going at all

8) Pump your arms

When you start to be fatigued, your posture will suffer and that will actually only make running harder. When it gets tough, make an extra effort to check your posture and pump your arms!When the arms are pumping, the legs are following 🙂

9) Ice it

You might experience a bit of pain from starting running. Ice your shin or knee in that case and take a rest day. Go see your physio if the pain does not pass.

10) Keep it varied

Try different routes, try interval training, try to go to a short run where you try to be fast or a long one which a slower pace, run with a friend…

11) Stay safe

I fell during a long run of my half-marathon training. That is when I realised that I was a bit young and stupid as nobody knew where I was, I did not have my oyster card, tissue, keys, money or anythingon me and it was not a busy area. SO my advises would be to let somebody know where you are going, be careful if you listen to music as you might not hear cars coming, nights come early so wear high visibility gears and maybe have your oyster card on you so you can take public transport if you cannot run anymore.

12) Motivation….

That is a tough one. Running for charity is the best motivation for me but here are another few tips that I use:I plan and think about my run, think about how good I am going to feel after it. The only runs that I regret are the ones that I do not do. Sometimes it takes me absolutely ages to decide to go but in the end I never regret it and always feel better after so I try to remind myself of this feeling.

Some week ends, I jus put on my running gear first thing in the morning. I then really have to go since I am “ready”.I try to go in the morning so this way it is done and dusted and I cannot use the excuse of finishing work too late and being too tired.

I really really love ice cream so going running means I can indulge.

During a run if I want to stop I pump my arms. Then I say to myself that I can keep going for 2-5min extra and see how I feel then. I usually feel fine and just say to myself that I will keep going for another 5 min etc.

I repeat to myself 100 times (yes yes 100 times) “I am a runner” or “I am not a quitter”. Having to concentrate to keep track of how many times I am repeating tricks my mind enough for it to forget about the pain. Making my grocery list also works.

If I am really tired I walk until a set point (a tree, bench or lamp-post) and then start again.I say to somebody that I will go for a run. I usually go in case they rain check on me.So here are my running tips!

Hello legs

Hello legs

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Do you like running? I LOVE it.
What is your favourite running tip? I love keeping track of my progress and see how I am improving
When are you next going for a run? This week-end at the latest

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