Running Tips

10 Top Running Tips
These 10 Top Running Tips are designed to help you. You may or may not agree with them but they have kept me going since 1989.

Enjoy Running
This seems simple enough, but unless you are getting paid loads of money you may as well enjoy it. Rain, sun, wind or cold most of us go out all year round, if its a chore we wouldn`t do it. Smile

Have a Goal and a Plan
Whether you are aiming to do your 1st 5k or your 50th marathon you need to have a goal to focus on, and a plan to help achieve it. It will help you make the most of all your running sessions, make sure you are doing what is required and help motivate you to go out when the weather is lousy. However, the plan must be flexible enough to into account that you have a life.

Injury Prevention
I) Mobilise your joints and muscles before you go out running - see youtube video
ii) Stretch when you get back from your run
iii) Xtrain - Xtraining can be an excellent way to help avoid injuries. But try not to do too much as the time you spend xtraining may be better spent actually running. I would recommend a max of 3x per fortnight, concentrating on core strength and leg strength/ If you go to a gym then use heavy weights and low reps. Doing this will really strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments. The rower is an excellent way to warm up all over. And don`t forget a regular sports massage, once a month will certainly help.

If you do have an injury
If it's minor then rest, ice and heat treatments are easy and free. If the injury continues then seek help, its usually a quicker way to start running again. Then once cured see injury Prevention above. Don`t forget to continue with any exercises you were given to prevent the injury occurring again.

Join a Group
Although running is an individual sport its much better to run with a group at times. The camaraderie, shared experiences and social aspect will help you enjoy your running more, and intervals are so much easier with other people.

Vary Your Training
This can include speed of running, distance, effort, on or off road, flat or hilly. Elite runners tend to divide their year into segments to concentrate on various aspects, so they may do 3 months of stamina, a month of speed etc. They can do this because running is pretty much all they do and they have very set races as targets. However, we can adapt this to our own levels and maybe do 2 or 3 weeks stamina, followed by a weeks speed or hill work. This will help build the particular aspect you are training for and give you a higher base level from which too progress. It will also vary your running and so make it more enjoyable. Don`t do a run because that's what you always do on a Monday, Tuesday etc. If you keep doing the same runs you will become bored, plateau and may even start to go backwards. Why go out of the door if you don`t have a good reason. Whether its a recovery run, burn calories or a speed session. You will always do better and enjoy it more if you have a reason. Make your runs count

Good for you
Just think how much good you are doing for your body and mind. When you run you will build muscle and bone strength, increase the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, reduce stress, reduce weight, and decrease the likelihood of illnesses such as diabetes and certain forms of cancer.

Races are great and a reason why many of us run. Whether its to achieve a certain time, to improve on the previous year, or for the camaraderie, it doesn`t matter why we do them. I would suggest only having about 6 important races a year, if you are looking to improve your PBs. To race well you have to taper your training, if you keep tapering your training you will not train enough to race well. That's not to say you can`t race more often, but don`t expect to improve with every race. You can certainly train through some distances egg 5k and 10k without missing any training, but doing a half marathon every weekend and expecting to get quicker simply isn`t going to work. So you can do some races for fun, to meet friends, but always give yourself a chance in your main races.

Running Technique
Most runners will benefit from improving their running technique. It is an area of running which is often overlooked, probably because it needs consistent practice over a period of time. However, improving your technique will enable you to run more efficiently and so run longer at a quicker pace.
Try the following when running
• Stand tall - stomach in, chest out , shoulders relaxed
• Have a slight lean forward at the ankles ( definitely not at the waist like so many runners do)
• Spring off using the power of your calf muscles - this should have the effect of raising your trailing foot towards your butt. You may have noticed the long distance runners in the Olympics nearly kicking their behinds.
• Arms should be relaxed and elbows at 90 degrees, with the thumbs going from nipple to hip (approx.)
• When landing, try to land with a fairly flat foot. Don`t land heavily on the heel (can give you shin splints) nor too far forward on the toes (which can give you Achilles problems)
• Practice for a 100 yards every mile.

Give something back
Whether to running (become a parkrun volunteer) or the community in general. There are always people who need a little help.

Treat yourself Occasionally
If you don`t treat yourself running will become a chore and you will loose the reasons why you started in the 1st place. So whether your treat is a bag of chips, clothes or a holiday, treat yourself every now and again.