Whether you’re the new running kid on the block or if your 5K time won’t budge under the 30 minute mark, I have some useful tips and tricks to get you over the start line and feeling strong and springy on your runs. And yes, that is a headband in the picture which is my preference to sweat in the eyes (if you know, you know!).
If you make it out the door, with your shorts on the right way round, trainers on the correct feet and with a sense of excitement, you’ve completed half the battle. Sometimes just making the time to run is the biggest reason people don’t do it.
I like to plan when I’ll run each week by making a note in my phone calendar as this makes me accountable to myself. If its a morning run I’ve planned, I make sure the night before I put out exactly what I’ll wear and have my earphones and phone case in sight. Try and preempt your excuses by making it clear, obvious and easy to get up and go.
And you’re off! You’ve left the house with a spring in your step with a sense of euphoria and butterflies. That is until the stitch kicks in or your Achilles starts to twinge. As a personal trainer my number one question to someone when they get an injury or a niggle is ‘did you warm up?’. If the answer is no, I feel a sense of frustration as the injury could have been avoided. Warm ups don’t need to take 15 minute or make you feel silly by swinging your leg in front of your body as your neighbour looks over with a slight snigger on their face. Think of it as putting oil in your car, checking the tyres and the brakes before setting off on a long journey. You know you should do it, so take 5 minutes out and warm up. Please. Once you have started, run slow and build up steadily. The second half of your run should be quicker than your first half (incline depending).
Half way point:
While running, your mind can either wander into ‘runners paradise’ where your subconscious takes over, your body feels beautifully numb and you feel as if you're running on clouds. Unfortunately, from personal experience, I’d say I feel this way 1 in every 10-15 runs. Instead, the mind can play tricks on you by making you think that lamp post is just 10 metres in front of you, yet it takes you 30 seconds to get there instead of the 10 seconds your mind told you. Try and smile, focus on your breathing and your arm swing. Look straight ahead and realise how incredible your body is to allow you to run.
The last part of your run is arguably the best and the worst. You feel pleased that you’ve accomplished it, but a small part of you wishes you could do it again. The endorphin rush post-run is a real phenomenon and is a real treat that you should savour. Whatever your time or distance covered, you should be proud and know that the run you’ve just been on has improved your physical and mental abilities. Now fuel your body as it will be craving carbohydrates and protein to function efficiently.
Running should be a joy, not a demon we sometimes make up in our minds. Enjoy the process and look after your body. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about running as I’d love to help at firstname.lastname@example.org.