How To Run

I'm no running expert or jogging expert (some people call it a run, I prefer term jog because I don't think I will ever be able to call myself a runner, I look like Phoebe from friends running) but I manage to get away with it and enjoy it from time to time. Running is my go to to clear my head and Wilder loves the running buggy so I'm killing two birds with one stone, ouch!

I thought if I could do it (Phoebe style) then so could everyone else so I'm sharing a bit of advice on how to get started with running. Have a read and hopefully I will see you pounding the pavements! Any questions you may have just add them to the comments below!

A lot of people don't think they are able to run, they start, get straight out of breath and think it's just not for them.

During the first few minutes of running your body is warming up and your muscles are allowing oxygen to flow through them, because of this it often seems much harder in the first few minutes than it does at around the 15 minutes mark when your body and breathing have adjusted to the activity.

The key to mastering your technique is warming up and breathing!

You don't want to do too much too soon so you could start by simply running when you can, then walking, and back into a run, just scale it back when you are feeling a little tired.

Plan your route first so you know it's safe and if you're taking the baby make sure the route is pushchair friendly, you don't want to be near a main road running with a buggy. I use a buggy strap too in case the pram gets away from me.

Remember you have to get back to where you started so I would advise not to plan a super ambitious route in case you need the toilet or some other inconvenience comes up!  Alternatively you can plan a route with stops along the way!

You will need to take water with you (even if you have just downed a pint before you set off) ALWAYS be well hydrated and make sure have eaten beforehand, how soon depends on if you can handle a full stomach on a run.

SO...start by warming up, start with a light walk and over 5 minutes build it into a fast walk.

You could then stretch, holding for 8-15 second do the following;

·      Hamstring stretch

·      Quad stretches

·      Hip flexor stretch

·      Lower back stretch

Then do some mobilisation, about 8 reps each side;

·      Spinal rotations

·      Side bends

·      Knee mobilisation (moving your knees in a circular motion each way as if your doing a little dance)

Now you want to continue your warm up, so in the next 5 minutes gradually build and take a fast walk into a really slow jog at which point you want to maintain a pace that suits you and that is comfortable...and your off.

A lot of people say you must inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth but in actual fact just concentrate on what feels good for you, I think this really over complicates things when your already puffing. The important thing is to breath in and out, nice deep breaths.

So slow and steady wins the race, don't go too fast too soon...this is something you can build on later. If it gets too much then walk and try again, slowly, your heart rate will still be higher when you're walking so you're still working hard. I always take smaller steps when going up hill which seems to help my recovery at the top, so if you tackle a hill, give this a try!

Stitches are also really common and often avoided by making sure you are well hydrated so drink plenty in the hours leading to a run.

I think it's really useful to think about driving your legs from your hips too, this helps you activate more muscles to help you, instead of predominantly using your legs. Many people have under developed glutes so strengthening these along with core strengthening will really help with your running, there are workouts featured in our Community and within the Bronze subscription to support you here.

You might see some people running with relaxed arms, a lot of people swear by this to regulate your heart rate and again concentrating on activating the muscles that need to be recruited to run.

If you're new to running then take it slow and steady. And please don't be put off by people who watch as you fly (slowly saunter) past! When i'm out running and see people running who might be newbies, I think good on them...it's often the people who don't do any exercise who are critical and who cares what they think, they don't have the guts that you have to get out there and do it!

Don't be surprised if you get a few high 5’s either, runners love to see other runners pushing it!

And also if it feels tough that's probably because it is tough! I'm 6ft and supposedly made for long distance but I'm knackered after 3 miles. That said, I love the mental clarity I get after a run so I'm not bothered if I don't look super cool or super fit doing it, I'm happy being a Phoebe runner!

After your run make sure you come to a gradual stop, like you did in the warm up but just reverse it and then stretch all the muscles used.

To summarise

·      Don't run before you can jog (see what I did there)

·      Make sure your well hydrated

·      Start on an easy route

·      Warm up and cool down properly

·      Enjoy it and be confident!

I Really rate the couch to 5k which can be on the NHS website,  this a free guide and just brilliant for beginner runners.

Good Luck and let me know how you find it!

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