Posted on April 29, 2020 by Jenny Cromack

It’s nice seeing so many people out running at this time of year. The Spring/Summer months often encourage more people to go out running. Also, the lack of opportunity to get to the gym due to the Covid-19 lockdown means that many people are dusting off their trainers and either giving running a try for the first time, or perhaps rekindling an old friendship with running.

This blog looks at some running tips for beginners, to be honest, they apply to all but if you’re new to running they will certainly help keep you running strong and injury free.

1. Warm Up! So many people just pop their trainers on and set off for a run without warming up, but you’ll actually run more efficiently if you warm up first.

We’re not talking static stretching (save that for your cool down), but warming up the muscles and joints through dynamic movements such as leg swings, knee raises, reverse lunges, squats, etc. After this spend a minimum of the first 5 minutes walking, then jogging at a slower pace than the main section of the run to gradually increase the heart rate and blood flow to the working muscles. We know it sounds tedious, but trust us, your running times will improve.

One of my warm up routines after I’ve done dynamic stretches is 2 minutes walk, then 3 minutes jog during which I include high knees, heels to the bum, side steps, fast feet. Then I gradually shift the gears up to my training pace.

2. Cool Down! Cooling down is as important as warming up. It’s during the cool down that we use static stretches to focus on stretching and lengthening the muscles after the hard work you’ve put them through during your run.

Focus on stretching out the main muscles you use for running such as the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calf muscles. Holding each stretch for 15-20 seconds. Don’t be afraid to spend the last 5 minutes of run slowing down the pace too before you start your stretches.

3. Hydrate! Making sure you’re properly hydrated before a run is hugely important…..just 1-2% dehydration can have significant impact on your performance.

The key is to make sure you are hydrated BEFORE you go out for a run. If you are correctly hydrated, you shouldn’t really need to carry water with you for any runs under an hour (unless it’s a really hot day).

Aim to be fully hydrated 30 minutes before you set off on a run.

4. Correct Footwear & Clothing Ladies, I’m thinking a good sports bra here! Clothing wise….you don’t have to have fancy gear to run in….just anything you feel comfortable in.

If you’re new to running it’s hard to know what type of running style you have, but when the running shops re-open I’d strongly suggest having gait analysis performed so you can make sure you are wearing the right kind of trainer for your running style as this will minimise any injuries from wearing the wrong type of shoe.

5. Build Up SLOWLY Boy, oh, boy I cannot stress this enough. As a personal trainer, the number of people who tell me they are injured from running, then you delve into their training and find it’s because they have gone from doing one 3 mile run per week to four 5 mile runs a week…..eeek….your poor body.

Your body needs time to adapt to running. If you push it too soon, it will break. As a rule of thumb aim to build up your total weekly mileage by no more than 10% per week. Small steps make big progress over time, rather than big steps and no progress because you’re injured.

We hope this these running tips for beginners help. If you have any questions then we’d love to help! Drop us a line at [email protected].