Starting out in running

Top tips for getting out running

Here is some essential running advice about run training, running gear and injury prevention.This guide will help you start out in running and will give you top tips for getting out training.   

Starting out in running: Advice on running training

Stage One when starting out in running

  • Make sure you warm up, stretch and cool down for every run.
  • Don’t make the mistake of trying to do too much running too soon. Start off very gently and remember that if you cannot hold a conversation when you are running, you are pushing yourself too hard.
  • Don’t worry about how hard you are running or whether you are doing enough, just get out and establish the routine first. After about a month of your training, your consistency should start to feel like a habit.

Stage Two when starting out in running

  • At this point think about involving a professional. Find a recommended personal trainer to progress your running training at the right rate for you. If you don't belong to a gym then find a freelance trainer that will come out to your house. This doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive; just a couple of visits and they will write you a plan and show you different running techniques.

  • Set yourself a running goal! This will be great for your motivation.

  • Alternatively, you could download a running training plan compiled by a professional coach to get you started. 

Running gear when starting out in running

Buying a pair of running shoes can be a daunting task. There are hundreds of pairs on the market and unfortunately it’s not just a case of buying a pair that feel comfortable and look cool. Here are our top tips to help you get your choice of shoes right:

  • Forget the fashionability of the running shoes. Prioritise with fit, function and feel.

  • Don’t buy the running shoes your friends have always run in, they may not be right for you.

  • Take advice from a knowledgeable and trustworthy sales person, but understand why you require the product being sold. Only buy running shoes after you’ve tried them on and tested them on a treadmill.

  • Keep your feet dry. Running-specific socks will help stop moist or sweaty feet from blistering.

  • Gait analysis will show how you move. Use this to hone your footwear purchase, learn about where your technique can be more efficient, and understand what preventative maintenance is required to prevent injury.

When it comes to running clothing, as a new runner, the first words you should add to your running vocabulary are ‘wick’ and ‘wicking’. This is how fabric deals with the moisture (i.e. the sweat) the body creates. A good piece of running clothing must transport moisture away from the body towards the outside environment, so even with intensive sweating you can feel comfortable and dry. The piece of clothing should also be able to regulate body temperature; this doesn’t mean it comes with a hot or cold switch that you can turn off and on at your leisure! You should try to layer your clothing so you’re able to adapt to the weather as it changes.

Nutrition for runners when starting out in running

    • At first, you do not need to make radical changes to your diet. However, as your training increases, it will place additional nutritional demands on your body. You need to fuel your body with a nutritious and balanced diet to provide it with all the essential nutrients it requires to enable you to perform at your best.
    • During running exercise the working muscles use stored energy, and the two main fuels the body has stored are carbohydrate and fat. The body’s reserves of carbohydrate (glycogen in the muscles) are limited, but the body’s reserves of fat are less limited. When you become tired it is usually to do with the depletion of the glycogen reserves in the muscles.
    • Carbohydrate is the most important fuel for an active person, starting out running. It is stored in the muscles as glycogen. To maintain your energy stores you need to keep your glycogen stores topped up each day. The best way to do this is to have a low-fat, high-carbohydrate snack or light meal two to three hours before exercise, and then your stomach has time to empty before physical activity. Start refuelling your energy stores as soon as you have finished exercising – how much you need will depend on the length of time you have been exercising.
    • It is really important to drink before, during and after a run – waiting until you are thirsty is not advisable, as you will be dehydrated by then.
    • For most active people, selecting a wide variety of foods from each of the five major foods groups as shown below will ensure an adequate consumption of all the essential nutrients required by the body.
  

Injury prevention when starting out in running

Many people start running with the greatest of intentions, only to be struck down by injury a few weeks into their training regime. This is an unfortunate and unnecessary setback, which can be prevented or at least the risk reduced, by taking a few simple precautionary steps:

    • Ensure you are running in the correct running shoes for your running style and bodyweight.
    • Always carry out a thorough warm up before exercise, which should leave you slightly sweaty and your body prepared for the upcoming activity.
    • Ensure correct and adequate stretching is incorporated into your training regime, including at least one session of stretching away from your running sessions. Avoid the temptation to run too far and too fast before your body is ready for it; overloading the tissues, can lead to injury.
    • Seek advice with regards to your correct running posture and any muscle imbalances. It’s easier to prevent an injury than it is to treat one once it has occurred.
    • This also means that you don’t have to take time out of your fitness regime to recover, and spares you all that pain!

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