To all new runners…
Not having access to your usual gyms and fitness classes means finding new ways to exercise. You have worked hard to stay fit doing exercise you love. We want to help you stay fit so that when your Gyms and PT sessions reopen you will be still be strong and fit as you ease back into your programs.
Running is an easy way to stay fit, but it can feel hard when you first start, or after a few weeks of running niggles start to set in.
We want you to know that running does gets easier. The day will come when you have finished a run and suddenly realised that it felt effortless… But you do need to have a different approach to running than a HIIT session. Running is a high impact exercise, but it requires a constant effort by your body to move.
Here are our 5 tips to help make your running easier, and they are explained further below.
Tip #1 Start slow
Tip #2: Wear the right shoes
Tip #3: Get out the door even if you don’t want to.
Tip #4: Pain in your feet and legs should not last
Tip #5: Enjoy the scenery and smile
Finally, always talk to your running friends because they will love to help you out. Stick at it. Change will come and if you get stuck in anyway at all – shoes, niggles, training – or just want to chat about how you are going, come and see us at intraining, or phone, email or message us.
We are all runners and want to see you enjoy the time you have when your other regular exercise activities are not available. Follow these tips and you will super fit when you return to your normal activities.
5 Tips to make your running easier
Tip #1: Start Slow
Many exercise classes and gym routines are based on the HIIT formula These are great because they are designed to give a huge amount of energy output in a short space of time – usually over 30 – 45 mins. The endorphin rush is amazing and there’s a huge variety in moves or exercise bursts.
Running is very different. To get that endorphin rush, you have to go slower to start otherwise you have the reverse response and a lactic acid build up that only creates pain. Runners do get endorphins – loads of it – but it takes a bit longer.
You also can’t maintain a hard hit out every day. So pace yourself, and don’t try to run every session hard. Getting an injury will stop you in your tracks, but staying fit, will give you a great start when you return to your previous exercise routines.
Easy Running strategies include:
- Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minutes and repeat until your time is over
- Vary the time you run and walk based on your fitness, but each time you break into a run, start slowly and stop before you get completely puffed.
- Run by time, not by distance
- Run the 2nd half faster than the first.
- Listen to Julia Briskey’s story, in particular to her amazement at the advice to “go slow before you can to go faster”
Tip #2 Wear the right shoes
The difference between a shoe ‘to run in’ running shoe ‘right for you’ is like slicing meat with a blunt knife compared to a sharp knife. It’s effortless. There is a considerable more amount of work when running on the road because your body has to constantly work to propel you forward. You should also not have lasting pain in your legs, shins or knees. You can make this so much easier and less painful with the right pair of running shoes.
There are so many to choose from, but with the right advice, you will find one that is:
– big enough
– the right support
– good enough cushioning.
– the right shape to match your feet.
Listen to Steve The Footman’s Runtalk #19
about matching your feet to your shoes. This is particularly important if your feet, shins, or legs are hurting when running.
Tip #3 Get out the door even if you don’t want to.
Pick the days you want to run, and stick to them.
To make running easier it is about making a routine and finding ways to help you keep them. Strategies that runners use regularly are:
– Putting their clothes in an obvious spot the night before
– Packing their clothes in their work bags
– Getting the family to help them be accountable
– Messaging a friend to let them know you are going for a run
Every time you run, your body is getting stronger to make running easier. If you are starting from scratch, this could take between 6-12 weeks, depending on how fit you are and if you can keep your routine. If you have the fitness background you can probably run 5km or longer non stop. Your key to running easily and without injury is to focus on your pacing – starting slower and finishing strong.
Now, even if you don’t want to go, the act of putting your shoes on and going out the door can make a huge difference to making your running easier. Just stick at it and you’ll be surprised at how fit you will become.
Tip #4 Pain in your feet is not normal
Your feet should not hurt in your running shoes. This is not a normal part of running.
Wearing shoes that are too small is a common mistake made by new runners, and can give you all kinds of very annoying pain, blisters, or black toenails. Make sure you allow plenty of room around your toes because your feet are going to flatten, get wider and even enlarge with blood flow when you run.
Tip #5 Enjoy the scenery and smile
This is the best part, particularly when the weather is superb in our spring and Autumn months.
Take time to look around when out running. It’s ok to stop and walk for a moment and take a picture or a selfie. Smile at the people you pass, even if it’s hurting. The actual act of smiling makes hard moments better. Try it out. The fastest marathoner in the world actively smiles in his races to help him when everything starts to hurt.