Beginning to run can be very daunting and overwhelming and just the thought of beginning is off putting to a lot of people. We have put together a guide on how to sensibly increase your distance, improve your fitness and stay injury free.
We recommend starting slowly and gradually building up. It is important to have a programme which is effective and efficient and builds up your distance without burning you out or causing an injury. This programme is a guide, if you feel like you need a break, then take a day off! The long distance runs are the most important so if you need to, take a day off so you feel fresh for your long distance run.
Some tips before you start:
- Ensure you have good footwear. Buying a new pair can seem expensive and excessive, but a good pair of shoes can prevent injuries and make running a lot more enjoyable!
- Don’t take your dog. Initially starting out running you want to focus on your run! Dogs often stop to sniff and can break up the rhythm of running. Holding the lead in one hand also creates an asymmetry with your shoulders, which affects your hips and your whole run technique.
- We recommend setting a goal for yourself. Park Run at Hobsonville Point is a free organised 5km that occurs every Saturday – perhaps aim to do a Park Run at the end of your training programme! Once you do one, you will have your time and you can always aim to get faster!!
- Ideally, don’t run with music. We know it can be a great distraction to the puffing and panting but music can stop you from hearing great cues from your body – like how hard your feet strike, the cadence you’re running at, if your gait is asymmetric. Listening to these and making changes to them can mean you avoid injury!
Our training guide:
Rest Days: These are your days off, rest days are built into your programme to allow your body to rest and recover. If you don’t build rest days into your programme you run the risk of overuse soft tissue or stress fracture injuries.
Active Recovery: Active recovery helps maintain your fitness while not depleting your energy for your longer run days. During these sessions try; yoga, pilates, cycling/spin class, or swimming.
HIIT (High intensity interval training): HIIT workouts combine short bursts of intense exercise with periods of lower-intensity exercise. The aim of HIIT is to boost cardio-respiratory health with a shorter time investment compared to lengthy and continuous forms of exercise. HIIT exercise can be performed while running or cycling. For example you may begin with 30seconds of continuous running and 1 minute of walking. Slowly increasing your run time (40seconds) and decreasing your walk time (50 seconds).