A beginners guide to Running – Top Tips

Getting Started, Staying Motivated – Whether it’s your first 5k, 10k or first marathon

• Set a target. It could be your first 5km or 10km. For more experienced runners it could be your first marathon.
• Allow a realistic time frame to prepare.
• Make your training interesting and enjoyable. Find a training partner or group of runners of a similar level to you. Challenge and motivate each other. Vary your training routes.
• Progression is never linear. There will be ups and downs along the way.

Avoiding running injuries

• Remember you are exposing your body to stresses and strains that it is not accustomed to.
• Many first-time runners experience injury in their first 8 weeks by doing too much, too fast, too soon.
• Increase running volume by no more than 10% every 2 weeks.
• If you are taking up running for the first time, allow 48 hours between runs during the first four weeks.
• You can do other lower impact exercise on alternate days such as cycling, swimming and strength training.
• Break up your first few runs into run/walk intervals e.g. 1 minute run/1 min walk for 20 minutes.
• Then increase the time you spend running until you can complete a full run without stopping. That is progress!

Running technique coaching tips

• Run with a shorter step and higher cadence.
• Pick the foot up as you swing the leg through and land with a vertical shin and bent knee just in front of the hip.
• Run tall with an upright posture.
• As you improve fitness and strength your running technique will feel easier.

Strength training

Strength training will help your running performance and reduce risk of injuries like shin splints, runners knee or Achilles tendinitis.
• Runners need strong hips, trunk muscles and ankles to move well, maintain good posture and prevent injury.
• 2-3 strength training sessions per week would be recommended focusing on whole-body ground-based exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges and step-ups.
• Good movement and technique during strength exercises must be trained before adding resistance.

Click here for downloadable PDF. For further information on this or to book an appointment with a physiotherapist or sports medicine doctor email sportsmedicine@sportssurgeryclinic.com or phone +353 526 2030

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