Being there have been a lot of new runners join Medalmad recently I thought I'd put a few tips together for anyone who might be completely new to running.
REMEMBER IT'S A MARATHON
Even if you're not planning to run a marathon, you should take the slow and steady approach to your running activities. When you try to increase your mileage or speed up your pace too soon, you run the risk of developing injuries. It's important to train consistently and build your distance slowly to avoid hurting yourself. Building strength and endurance takes time…It is a marathon, not a sprint!
Implementing a cross training plan is a great idea as it can help reduce the pressure on the joints used for running. It will also build stronger supporting muscles around the joints. The great thing about virtual racing is that the distances can be completed in various ways so if your taking a break of resting from running you can cross train with cycling, swimming or even just walking.
MIX UP YOUR RUNS
As well as doing cross training on your off days, variety should be added to your running workouts. Running at 100% effort on every run can not only cause burnout, but it can also increase the risk for injury. There are many free training plans online to check out that will include varied runs for different days of the week. It's great to do a variety of workouts like speed work, a longer distance run at a slower pace and cross training as mentioned above.
One option is to do laps on the local track. Running for 1km followed by 400m. a cool-down period of walking allows you to run hard but also prevents continued stress on your shins and calves. A range of running workouts helps you improve speed and stamina over time.
APPRECIATE OTHER HEALTH ISSUES
Running is a great stress reliever. It can be just as important for your mental health as your physical health. However, it is important to keep other health issues in mind. For example, the trainers I own are design to absorb more impact while running to assist with ankle, knee and shin issues. You can also wear braces and support if you need to and be sure you don't try to run through an injury! This is something I have been guilty of. Last year whilst training for a Tough Mudder event I felt a pain in my lower legs which I thought was just an ache after several days of running I tried to run through the pain. So you can imagine my surprise a couple of hours later when I was sat with ice packs on both legs and what turned out to be shin splints!
If you are new to running, it's likely that you are currently putting your body under more stress than it has been accustomed to. Therefore, it is imperative that you give it a chance to rest and recuperate. As tempting as it may be to skip your rest day, treat them as part of your overall training plan and adhere to them. Your body will thank you in the end!
SO TELL ME…
Are you a new runner? What do you love most about running? Do you take your rest days or is it hard for you to take a day off? What is your favourite form of cross training? Are any of these Tips for New Runners "new" to you?