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Tips from a Runner

A runner's tips, accumulated over 18yrs of running:

- Try new routes and enjoy the view.

- Run in the mornings & feel great for the day: set your kit out the night before (inc a head-torch if nec), get up and get out. For safety, avoid running the same route at the same time of day.

- Attach your strength work to the end of each run - e.g. lunges and crunches Mondays, squats and press-ups Wednesdays, etc. Ideally, harder strength work on long run days so that you have a day or two to recover.

- Don't only run forwards - your strength work should include moving sideways. If you do the last 400m running sideways (each side), you will help prevent injury. Backwards is good too. By putting them in at the end of your run, you won't forget them. Butt kickers, striders and calf stretches can all be done as you finish your run.

- Cross-train on running "rest" days - swim, row, cycle, for 30+mins at an easy pace.

- Training for longer distances - tire your body doing another activity, like cycling, then run. This saves you from having to put your body under too much strain from hundreds of running miles.

- Acknowlege your cycles - women perfrom differently at different times of the month. We all have seasonal "blips" and many suffer from slumps or a case of the "downs" after achieving a big event. - Plan for it. Only rest for a pre-planned period (max one week), plan in your next goal.

- Planning is the key to success with training. Put a time and day for your training in the diary. Or, book a friend in, you are less likely to duck out.

- Have days when you put aside measurements (distance, pace, duration, incline, intervals) and rediscover the fun of simply running.

- If you run further, sleep more!

- Eat fresh, home cooked meals with mostly vegetables and pulses. You don't need sweets, choc, biscuits and bread stuffs to fuel you.

- Sprint finish. No matter how poorly or well you ran, sprint before you do your sideways, backward etc work. It makes you feel great and prepares you for good finishes when you are tired during races.

- Have something to train for on a pre-determined date, it doesn't have to be an organised event, just be working toward something on a set date (a distance, weight loss, event or goal). Remember, you don't have to enter events to put them in as a goal. YOU can run a 1/2M or complete a half iron-man on your own.

- Book into fun events - there are dog runs, muddy ones, quarry adventures, orienteering, obstacle, trail, road, track. Try variety and see what you enjoy, you might be surprised.


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