Getting into running, especially if you are a beginner, can be daunting.
Many novice and beginner runners look for tips for their running, as they start (or get back into) the sport.
The following article series will help you in your quest for running glory, and will hopefully prevent a running disaster.
We treat 100’s of runners at our physiotherapy clinic, and know the intricate details of how to optimise performance and reduce injury risk (as well as how to rehab!)
At first glance, running seems like an easy thing to get into - just throw on a pair of joggers and go!
But when you think about it, it's not as simple as that.
Where do I start?
How far should I go?
Where should I run?
How often should I run if I want to complete 5k, 10k or a marathon?
These questions can make the idea of running really daunting.
But we’re here to help!
I'll be answering a lot of the questions that people have about becoming a runner.
Tip 1 - Ease into it
Don't go like a bull at a gate!
You're just setting yourself up for disaster.
Figure out what your current activity levels are and go from there.
If you've played sport over winter, you've got a baseline fitness under your belt.
So you could start off with a couple of kilometres of easy jogging.
If you're starting from scratch, maybe on a walk, introduce some small bursts of a couple of minutes of jogging between walking.
But definitely run less than you think or feel you can.
Trust me, it's worth it.
A lot of people have the idea that if you haven't exercised till you're completely out of breath, or on the verge of spewing, you haven't exercised hard enough.
Not only is this dangerous, but you're not going to last long if you train like this.
You want it to be enjoyable!
Tip 2 - The 10% rule
This is the golden rule for injury prevention, and gradually building up your fitness.
Most injuries occur when we do too much, too soon.
So once you've eased into your running (see tip 1) for a couple of weeks, and you're feeling good, you can increase your distance by no more than 10%.
Increasing by more than this puts you in the red zone, increasing your chances of injury.
For example, if, in your first 2 weeks of starting your running you did 10km all up, the next week you can do up to 11km in the week after, and continue increasing by 10% each week.
You don't always have to go by distance.
You can go by time or intensity, but keep this rule in mind and you'll significantly decrease your chances of hurting yourself, which only sets you back.
Tip 3 - How often to run?
It's up to you!
If you're starting out, 2 or 3 runs a week will be a good start.
You can slowly increase this (remember the 10% rule) and run 4 or 5 times a week.
Some people run every day, but only do this once you've got some good consistency under your belt, and remember the importance of recovery!
The information through this article will help you feel more confident in starting out your running journey.
And if you do encounter any difficulties, or have had an injury or some pain for the last few runs, come and see me or a physio you trust, and don't let it drag on!
Stay tuned for the next instalment of our series of running tips for beginners.