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5 Essential Running Tips for New Runners during COVD-19.

Updated: May 22, 2020

Running for me has never been so important. I am getting up daily to head out for an early morning run. Some days are great and I feel full of energy; other days, it is just hard to get that motivation to go. But I force myself to get out because I know my day will be better for it.

Running has become the go to for many people since the recent closure of the gyms and fitness classes with the COVID-19 outbreak. I have seen this increase over the past couple of weeks when I have been out running. Some people I can see are embracing it and others are really not enjoying their journey!!

As a running coach, I am often asked "why do I run?"

I run because I love it. I run because it gives me "me time". I run because it makes me feel great. I run because I can think during this time. I run because it takes me to some amazing places. I run far (distances most people drive) because it re-sets me. I run because it makes me very fit. I run because it teaches me resilience, patience, determination and grit. I run because I can.

I assure you, once you start to run you will view it in a different way and it will become part of your life. Just keep consistent and stick with it! These 5 essential tips will help you get more out of your running.

5 Tips to Help You Get More Out of Your Running.

1. Start off slowly by walking and running.

My first bit of advice would be to start off slowly and Run Happy! You may want to try and run 10k straight away and you could possibly do it. However you could also be booking into see a physio reasonably soon to sort out an injury! So to avoid this, start off slowly by walking and running. Walk for 5 minutes or so to warm up and then run anything from 1 minute up to 5 minutes (depending if you are a complete beginner). Walk for another minute and then repeat your run. Do this for anything up to 30 minutes. Repeat several times a week and then slowly increase the time you are running and reduce down the number of times you are walking.

I would also encourage you to run at a Happy Pace. This means you are running at a conversation pace and your effort is around 6/10.

Zane Grey Ultra in Arizona, US
Zane Grey Ultra race 2017.

When you get more used to running at an easy pace and you can run for 30 minutes continuously, I would then add in some longer runs (just one per week) hills and speed work to mix up your training and to make you a better runner.

The long slow run will become a really key element in your training. It will help your body to become more efficient, while improving your cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular systems.

2. Do not increase your total distance by more than 10% per week.

Adding more than 10% per week to your total distance can increase your risk of injury. Work on slowly adding on the miles or kilometres a week as well as to your long run. Do not suddenly jump up to running a 20k long run if you have only been doing a 10k. Allow your body to adapt to the stresses of running. Give your body time and it will thank you for it!

3. There is no "Bad Run Day".

Some days feel great (as I mentioned earlier) and other days feel as though I have never run before and my legs are lead weights. But another time you head out for a run where you could run forever! And it makes up for everything!

The days that are hard, are so important for training, because these sessions teach you resilience and grit. You pull through them somehow. Drawing on these days for races, will only help you to push through when times are tough. You learn so much from those "Bad Run Days" that I think they are "Great Learning and Training Days!"

My attitude was awful in this race, as well as my reason "why". I learnt so much from this run day.
Learning from a "Bad Run Day"

4. Gear. (This is possibly a bit difficult at the moment with everything closed!)

Shoes are very personal. However, you do not need to spend vast amounts of money on a pair. Work out which shoe feels good and does not give you blisters or injuries. (Get your feet properly fitted is a good call! Gord's is a good place to start)

Wearing gear that is breathable is great. Some of the technical clothing or merino layers are also excellent. Saving up for a water proof or wind proof jacket is worthwhile and Patagonia do excellent jackets.

5. Rolling and exercises.

This is probably my athletes' least favourite activity! It tends to be the one that is missed off their training plans! But making sure you do exercises to strengthen your glutes, core, hip flexors, hamstrings etc will benefit your running significantly. Lifting weights will really help improve your running efficiency and endurance. Aim to d 2-3 focused weight sessions per week.

Adding in a yoga session as recovery will benefit your body. Rolling and then stretching key areas will also help reduce the tightness we can get as runners. I have definitely neglected rolling and stretching in the past and I remember walking into a yoga class for the first time and the teacher knew immediately I was a runner!!

So enjoy your running and contact me if you have any questions! I would be happy to help.

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