The Amazing Guide To Running

TIS THE SEASON FOR YOU TO TAKE YOUR RUNNING UP A GEAR!

Whether you’re a complete beginner, you run on the regular or you consider yourself a marathon pro, there’s always a little extra room for improvement. Being a runner is about so much more than just hitting the pavement. You have to think about your eating habits, the kind of shoes you wear, conditioning and more. When all of the pieces of the puzzle fi t into place, your running potential will soar. We’ve spoken to the experts, who gave us their advice on what to do to take your running to the next level. Ready, set, go!

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IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER…

No matter your age or your fi tness level, there’s never a better time than the present to start running. However, the prospect of becoming a runner can seem kinda scary for newbies. “When you begin, you might feel like you’re not going anywhere,” says running coach Nick Anderson. “But just remember that everyone started at some point and you will gradually start to notice a di erence.” It’s all about consistency. If you stick to a weekly running routine, starting small and slowly building on your distance and speed, your progress will become more noticeable. It’s also important to load yourself up with running knowledge from the get-go, especially when it comes to buying some good-quality runners. “Go to a proper running shop, speak to the experts and get a gait analysis,” says Anderson. It’s also important to try on some di erent pairs of running shoes. Your shoes need to provide adequate support and suit your style of running. You might prefer sneakers with extra cushioning, or maybe you’ll opt for increased breathability.

Think about what your priorities are here as you need to fi gure out what’s best for you.

“FOLLOWING THE RIGHT NUTRITION PLAN CAN HELP YOU TRAIN HARDER”

IF YOU’RE A REGULAR RUNNER…

Joining a running club is an awesome way to boost your motivation if you already run on the reg. Becoming a member of a club will bring some variety to your running routine that you might be lacking. “If you have been stuck in a rut on your own and doing the same thing over and over again, changing up your training with the support of a group will reap huge rewards,” says fi tness and biomechanics expert Phil Robertson. A little help can go a long way – being surrounded by fellow runners will defi nitely increase your confi dence and commitment to running. Running isn’t the only activity you need to focus on if you want to improve as a runner overall. “Strength work is crucial for runners,” says Robertson. “Focus on strength training for your core, glutes and legs and you will notice improvements in running effciency.” Don’t forget to throw some gym workouts into your training schedule in order to boost your run and help prevent injuries.

IF YOU’RE A MARATHON PRO…

As you’ll already know if you’ve ever run a marathon, there are a lot of elements that you need to consider when preparing for a race. Ultra runner William Sichel always does his research before a race so that he’s ready to take on any challenges that might come his way. “Before an important race, I will consider the surface and make sure that I have trained on that type before,” he says. “I’ll also study the likely weather conditions and do specifi c training to help prepare me.” Because you don’t want to get caught out by a sudden rain shower or an unexpected hill looming in the distance. Once you’re aware of the conditions of the race, you need to then make sure that you’re equipped with the right running accessories. “It’s important that you’ve invested in the right kit for each season,” says Sichel. It’s worth purchasing a running belt or pouch if you want to keep energy gels on hand, or sunglasses if you’re due to run on a sunny day. A little prep will make your long runs that much sweeter.

IF YOU’RE DOING YOUR FIRST EVENT…

Are you up for a challenge? Making the decision to take on a race for the fi rst time is a super exciting prospect. However, you can’t just turn up on the day and expect your run to be perfect. Your diet will play a huge role in determining how your race day and training goes. “Following the right nutrition plan can help you stay healthy, train harder, recover from your training sessions faster and perform better on the day of your race,” says registered nutritionist Dr Leva Alaunyte. Incorporating a balanced mix of nutrients into your menu will prove essential as you train towards your end goal. “Base your main meals on complex carbohydrates for energy,” Dr Alaunyte tips. “Add a generous portion of vegetables and fruit for that vitality boost from vitamins and minerals, protein for your strength and healthy fats from nuts and seeds.” In addition to eating the correct foods, you need to make sure you hydrate before, during and after your race. “As little as a 2 per cent decline in body fl uid can dehydrate you, causing your heart to work harder, your muscles to fatigue faster and your running to feel harder,” Dr Alaunyte explains. So don’t forget to drink up.

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