Tips on Running

April 19

Running is free, and you can do it anywhere, but before you start, if you have not been active for a while you may want to build up your fitness levels gently. Ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over several runs. 

It’s important to begin a run properly hydrated if you want to put in a good performance. Aim to drink 5-7ml per kg of body weight about 4 hours before exercising – equivalent to 350-490ml for a 70kg person. That way you’ll have enough time for your body to excrete what you don’t need before exercising. 

Cadence: get familiar with stride turnover – the rate of steps you take while running, regardless of pace. The fastest, most efficient runners have a cadence of around 180 steps per minute and keep their feet close to the ground with light, short and speedy steps .to find your magic number, run for one minute, count the number of times the right foot hits the ground and multiply by 2. 

Hurdle drills: all runners should be making friends with hurdle drills. The hip and groin region for runners tends to be one of the tightest, often neglected areas; incidentally it’s also a pivotal point for running efficiency. Runners who don’t work on opening up their hips, over time get tighter and tighter, making them prone to injuries and well as inhibiting their stride. From there, there are limiting their potential. 

Pacing: learning to properly pace yourself during a race is one of the most critical skills a runner can develop. To maximize your potential on race day you need to become a master at pacing yourself and learning to feel the disparity between just a few seconds difference in your pace. By learning the importance of pacing and fine-tuning your skills, you can improve your consistency and set new personal bests. Pacing for shorter events like the 5k, studies have shown that running the first mile of a 5k 3% faster than goal pace is the optimal pacing strategy. However, running the first mile more than 6% faster than goal pace considerably reduces performance; so much so that almost all the subjects that ran faster than 6% failed to even finish the race. Therefore, it’s a thin line between breaking on and burning out completely. 

 

*If you do have any health issues of long-term injuries, get your GP’s approval before starting any exercise or nutritional programmes. * 

 

Written by Jayne Hartley L3 Personal Trainer (Fierce fitness and nutrition) and Liz Carter L3 Personal trainer (Norse Personal Training)

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