Blog: Handy hints for runners of all abilities
For the majority, running provides a much-needed respite from everyday life – a chance to plug in some music, block out external stresses, and enjoy the beauty of nature. It’s a fantastic way to keep your weight in check whilst maintaining the health of your vital organs, and best of all - it’s free!
Whether you’re an experienced pavement pounder or you’re just starting out, one thing no runner should ever get enough of is good advice:
Invest in a decent pair of running shoes
The wrong ones will have knock-on effects for the rest of your body. Many running stores provide gait analysis to determine the right shoes for your body. It is recommended that a good pair should last you 400 to 500 miles before needing to be replaced.
Wait two hours after a meal before going out
Running with undigested food will increase the risk of abdominal cramps, bloating and vomiting. It takes around two hours for food to move on from the stomach, so ensure you time your meals correctly. Take note of the foods you’re filling up on – healthy carbohydrates and proteins are a vital source of energy and nutrition.
Set goals and stick to them!
This is the same for those training for the London marathon and those hoping to successfully reach 10km. It’s very easy to get complacent when life gets in the way, so a training plan is the best way to prevent any breaks of habit. If you’re unsure where to start, many pre-prepared plans can be found online or through apps.
Try out new things to find what you enjoy
Some prefer to run in solitude as it might be the only alone time they get. Others like to run in groups and buoy each other on. No single person is the same, but you will come to better understand your preferences by mixing-up your routes and running companions.
Warm-up and cool-down with 10 minutes of walking and slow running
It’s crucial to get your blood flowing and loosen your muscles at the start of a run so as not to cause injury. Likewise, a lack of cool down at the end can also cause leg cramps, nausea, dizziness, or fainting. Finish off with some dynamic stretching to help activate and elongate your muscles.
Pay attention to your hands and arms
Ensuring these are in the correct position will help you stay streamlined, therefore conserving your energy better. Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees without letting your hands fall below your waistline or extend above your shoulders. Hands should be loose with your palms facing inward.
Take rest days
Being able to enjoy running necessitates the ability to take a step back occasionally - everyone has their limits. Exhaustion is a sure-fire way to dampen your spirits and stop altogether. Likewise, if you experience any pain whilst running take some time off, as this may signal the start of an injury.