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Tops Tips for Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Runners
With years of experience under his belt, it's fair to say that personal trainer Matt Gleed knows a thing or two about running. Here he offers up some expert advice for runners of all ages and abilities:
Top Tips for Beginners
- Improve your fitness with Intervals on a treadmill - 1min Fast Run then 1 min Walk, repeated 10-15 times.
- Dont be in a rush to go out and build miles into your week, instead work on your speed with tempo runs where you run at a higher speed for the same moderate distance.
- Hit the gym to improve your physical condition so your body can handle the new demands and maintain your running posture.
- Get your shoes and running style tested so you're set-up correctly from the start.
- Food Food Food - eat to improve your health and fitness which means cut the ready meals, crisps, chocolate and excessive alcohol.
Top Tips for Intermediates
- Break your runs into categories where you follow a structure of progression. We recommend a Tempo Run working at what your ideal race speed is, Mile Repeats where you run as fast as you can for a mile then rest until you feel ready to push yourself again upto 6 times, then a Steady Milage Builder where you go out on the weekend and enjoy some scenes around the villages and country fields building your miles by no more than 10% each week.
- 5 to 10mins of skipping a day is a great way to strengthen up foot muscles and the lower body chain of muscles that you'll be using, do it every day to get your running condition improved.
- Now that you're running more, how you recover from your runs is going to be even more important so get a foam roller to self massage your aches and pains.
- Eat well with fresh food to get your body to break down the nutrients ready for the intense workout coming up, food like avocados, nuts and berries are great snacks to have between your meals.
- Core exercises like TRX, Stability Ball and Bosu work will get your smaller stability muscles better conditioned to handle the road.
Top Tips for Advanced Runners
- Run to a metronome at 180 BPM this will improve your cadence.
- Reduce time spent in contact with the floor by upskilling your running and become a mid or forefoot striker.
- Hit the gym and do some deadlifts, rapid jumps and front squats.
- Energy gels are a great help on the long runs - consume every 30mins.
- Get a running partner to head out with and share the workload of coming up with new longer routes.
Pre Run Tips
- Microtape is an essential for guys as is a good sports bra for woman - you'll only not take this advice once as you're going to suffer.
- Make sure you're hydrated an hour before at least and empty your bladder before you go.
- Double knot your shoelaces to avoid the annoying stop and start consequence.
- Warm up before you go out with some mobility movements and a heart rate raiser.
- Have a plan of miles, route or speed to help keep focussed.
- Hydration is key - we recommend Coconut Water as its full of potassium and natural electrolytes.
- Stretch with reaching movements not just standing static.
- Recover with a protein shake or decent protein based meal.
- Foam Roll to allow the stress built into a muscle to be released.
- Ice baths stimulate quicker recovery.
- Know your course if you can, either by running it, cycling it or at least have a look at a map.
- Warm up in a timely fashion and stay warm, maybe in some old clothes you can throw away as you move to the start position.
- Ensure you have everything ready the night before including safety pins, if you're rushing the morning of the race and the organisers have run out, you're not going to be happy!
- Blister protection - either using Vaseline, talc or protective strips.
- Know where the water stops are or buy a running belt to hold your bottles.
- Keep moving! stopping and sitting down will not help your muscles recover from their effort.
- Soak up the atmosphere - some roads may have been closed for the race so carparks might not be opened up again anyway.
- Get a Sports Massage to help you recover.
- Rehydrate with Coconut Water or plain water and avoid sugary drinks
- A recovery run or walk over the following days will help you, even if its the last thing on your mind.