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21 May 2012

Get Fit for Running

This is the time of the year when you have just been inspired by thousands of people running the London Marathon. They all have amazing stories and sometimes even amazing costumes and they have just put their body through a gruelling 26.2 miles. That 0.2 makes a big difference, trust me!

So now you want to take up the challenge. Maybe to do a marathon, or maybe even a 5km or 10km run. Whatever the challenge, it is all hard work. So just how do you start?

Firstly invest in a good pair of trainers. And no, not just a pair from your local designer trainer shop. Spend the time going to a running specialist shop where they analyse your running style and recommend a pair of trainers that suit your feet. Sometimes they might no be the prettiest in the shop, but your feet (and the rest of your body) will appreciate it when you are putting four times your bodyweight through every footstep.

Yes that’s right. Every time you run you are placing about four times your bodyweight through your foot with every footstep. With this in mind we need to talk about stability. Running specific stability looks at your ability to stabilise your ankle, knee and foot every time it lands, pulls you forward and pushes off. If you are lacking stability in any of these joints you are firstly setting yourself up for an injury or two, and secondly not using your muscles to actually propel yourself forward. After 26 miles you want to make sure that all of your energy is pushing you forward, not stopping you from going sideways.

The best way to do this is to get a specialised assessment which looks at your running technique and your overall lower body stability. Maybe book a Whole Body MOT with one of our specialists.

Next, look at the time of the day which best suits you for exercise. Some people are morning people, some people prefer to exercise after work or at lunchtimes. Work out which is going to be best for you and then stick to it. However, if you are training for a running event which is in the morning, make sure that you get used to running in the morning. If you do all of your training in the evening and then you try to run on race day in the morning for the first time it is not going to be a pleasant experience.

If you don’t have a running background start with a walk / run strategy. For example start running for 5 minutes, then walk for 2 minutes. Repeat this for as many times as you can then do a slow recovery walk at then end. To progress from this, you can start to increase your run intervals or decrease you run intervals or both.

If you have a good running background you can aim to do three main runs per week. Firstly a long steady (not slow) run. This is good to build your general endurance and make some of the other runs easier. Secondly make sure to include some form of speedwork into your routine. As the saying goes ‘if you train slow, you will race slow’. The only way to get faster in any running is to include some form of interval or fartlek training as part of your weekly routine. The next type of essential run each week will be hills. Hill running builds strength. The stronger your legs are, the faster they will go and the more resilience they will have for the longer runs.

One of the most important things you can do is keep a run diary. Write down keys things such as date, time of the day, run time, walk time, how you felt after the run. The more information you can keep about your running the better. Then you can see how much you are progressing. What types of runs are hard or easy? Which time of the day suits you best? All of these things will make a difference to your running specific goals.

So you can run that 5km or 10km or even a marathon. It is just a matter of making a plan, being consistent and getting out there and doing it.

So if you were inspired by the thousands of people running the London Marathon get out there and start. Good Luck!!

For help in doing so contact us today.