Wearing the wrong running shoes

Time is precious tor all of us – but it’s never a good idea to sprint off down the street within five minutes of getting out of bed or standing up from your desk. ‘Spending just a tew minutes warming up could be the difference between pulling a muscle and staying injury-free,’ says Adidas Runners Captain Olivia Ross-Hurst. ‘Before each session, warm up with a very easy jog tor five to 10 minutes, gradually increasing the pace it you can.’ As a bonus, you’ll perform better after a warm-up.

Wearing the wrong running shoes

Ct course, it pays to invest in a pair of proper running shoes and the latest styles may be tempting – but the pair your training buddy swears by may not be the best shoes tor you. Visit a specialist


running shop where staff can analyse your gait to assess which trainer style will address any issues such as over-pronation (flat feet) or under-pronation (high arches). A couple more pointers? ‘The best time to shop tor trainers is the evening because your feet swell during the day,’ says George Sullivan from The Sole Supplier (thesolesupplier.co.uk). ‘A pair of shoes that felt fine in the morning might feel too tight by the afternoon. And remember, your feet expand when you run, so it pays to buy trainers halt a size larger than your normal shoes.’

Wearing the wrong running shoes Photo Gallery

Neglecting the Achilles

One of the most common running injuries is Achilles tendonitis – aggravation of the large tendon at the back of the ankle. ‘Unlike muscles, tendons don’t have a good blood supply,’ says Ross-Hurst. ‘So it’s important to keep them warm by wearing socks that cover your ankles, particularly in cold weather. In addition, make sure you include plenty of heel raises and ankle rolls in your warm-up and cool-down.’ For a fuss-tree way to stretch out the ankle joints, lift your heel and rub your toes on the ground as it you’re putting out a cigarette.

Over-stretching before a run

Your warm-up isn’t over without a tew dynamic stretches, such as walking lunges, squats, shoulder rolls and heel raises. But remember, these serve a different purpose to the longer stretches you should include

in your cool-down. ‘The pre-run stretch routine should be dynamic, rather than static,’ explains Ross-Hurst. ‘Hold each stretch for just two to three seconds, otherwise you’ll over-stretch the muscles, compromising stability and risking injury.’

Running with a heavy cold

Is it ever a good idea to carry on training with a bad cold? ‘It all symptoms are above the neck – a dry, tickly cough, slightly sore throat or runny nose, tor example – they’re generally mild and you can still run,’ says pharmacist Marvin Munzu. ‘But anything below the neck, including a phlegmy cough, tends to be more severe and you should stop running for a week or two. Ensure symptoms have disappeared, or improved significantly, before you run again or you’ll damage your immune system. And don’t expect to pick up where you left off: start slowly and build up gradually or you’re at risk of injury and overexertion.’

Being too hard on yourself

For your running to improve, you need to work hard and set yourself challenges. But it you grow disheartened when you don’t get a personal best or have to stop and walk during your morning run, take a reality check. Every runner has good days and bad days – and rest days should be a key part of your regime. ‘Regardless of how fit we are, there’s only so much our bodies can take – but many runners ignore the warning signs,’ says Michael Core from injury prevention specialists Össur Webshop (ossurwebshop.co.uk). ‘Injuries caused by pushing the body too hard are the body’s way of telling us to rest.’
You should take on a gel every 30 mins to fuel your marathon.

Running With Us co-founder and Head Coach for Polar, Nick Anderson, answers your queries

I’m running my first marathon soon – what should I do in the run-up and on the day?

H‘Firstly, don’t panic that you haven’t done enough training – less is more in the tour weeks before the event. Your body needs to recover and build its strength tor race day. You can sharpen up slightly with some shorter, taster sessions and your longest training run should be three or tour weeks from race day. Aim for a three-hour run, with the last 60 minutes at your target marathon pace. Two weekends before the marathon, reduce your long run to about two hours, with the last 45 minutes targeting marathon pace.

‘A week before the event, shorten your runs and taper. Don’t have too many rest days, though, or you could feel sluggish by race day as your body loves routine. Do short, easy runs that are no longer than one hour long, and avoid the gym, to let your muscles recover. Have some early nights to protect your immune system, make a checklist for everything you need on race day and start getting prepared. Think about all the logistics of getting there. Check the weather and pack accordingly.

‘Jog for 10-20 minutes the day before the race and stretch. It helps you to feel loose on race day and can calm nerves a little. Snack on small meals throughout the day and stay well hydrated. Eat your last main meal at 6-7pm and snack on easily digested carbohydrates afterwards if needed. Go to bed early! If you find if hard to sleep, don’t worry – just stay in bed and rest, read and relax.

‘On race day, eat the breakfast you’ve practised before long runs an hour and a half to two hours before the start of the marathon. Take a banana or energy bar and sports drink to snack on between breakfast and race start and have extra in case the start’s delayed. Don’t run to warm up – use the first few miles of the race to do this. Run at the pace you’ve practised and don’t be tempted to run faster as you’ll ‘hit the wall’. Take on a gel every 30 minutes on race day (practise this in your training). Sip on a sports drink and/or water occasionally in the race. You don’t need too much, so don’t over drink. Good luck!’

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