Top Running Tips

When you begin running, it’s easy to think that you just need to grab a pair of trainers and off you go. However, there is often a lot more to it than that and there are plenty of tips that have been handed down through generations of runners, but which ones are the best? Here at UKFitness, we’ve looked into it, and found runners who have used some or all of these tips, to improve their running. So, what are you waiting for?

Your whole body needs strengthening

Most runners do get fitter over time and lose weight, but by doing strength exercises and making sure that you have the core strength to keep your legs and arms moving when running which can help improve your speed and overall fitness. By incorporating just one session of strength training, you can improve your core and your stamina to keep running over longer distances.

Pro tip: Pilates and yoga will help more than fixed weights.

Hills are your friend

Hills are hard work, but that’s the point! They work so much of your body that isn’t used as much when running on flats – and although they can be tough, hill sprints are one of the best things to add to your training plan. They use dynamic power and hip strength to drive you on.

Pro tip: Run on your tiptoes and try to bounce on them rather than using your whole foot.

Your PR doesn’t matter

What happens on race day, will happen on race day – all the preparation in the world can only help so much if the weather isn’t great or it’s too hot or you aren’t feeling great or are tired. The best tip is to just ignore any PR’s you may have in your head and take it as it happens. You’ll feel better in the long run, and it will help you become more process oriented.

Pro tip: If you need to have a PR to focus on, pick three; a top, middle and bottom effectively of the lowest time you’ll be happy with, the ideal PR and then one that is a top-level PR. It’ll help give you something to aim for, and you’ll be happy with any time.

Hydrate!

Hydration is super important when running, especially in heat or in races when you’re going faster than your usual pace. We recommend taking a running vest where you can carry enough water for your longer runs, remember that you might also need electrolytes or gels to keep your sugar and salt rates normal.

Pro tip: Having enough water on you will also help in training when you’re trying to decid on what fuel you’ll need to get round. Training with a pack is incredibly helpful!

Don’t forget to stretch

It’s easy to do your run and think – “I’ll stretch later, it’ll be fine.” Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Stretching helps ease the muscles and do a cool down to stop them from seizing up and can help with preventing injuries. It doesn’t have to be a 20-minute stretching session, it can take just five minutes and can help cool you down and bring the heart rate back down.

Pro tip: Make sure your stretches are static stretches that focus on your legs and lower body.

Top Running Tips

Routine is important

If it’s better for you to train in the morning, afternoon, evening etc. put it in a routine. Pick the running gear and trainers that suit the sort of training or running you’re doing. Use different fuels until you find the right one, but then use it for every long run. For races, if you know you like to set out your clothes the night before, do so. If you want to set the alarm for 2 hours before normal to get in the zone, fine! Call it superstition or routine, but if it helps you get into the right frame of mind for training, it’ll be easy to get yourself prepared for races.

Pro tip: Trial and error is your friend here, and once you’ve found your routine, stick to it!

Wear appropriate clothing

In the winter, stick on a base layer and longer leggings or shorts. It’s important to stay warm so your blood keeps flowing and your heart rate stays up – it also makes a workout more enjoyable when you know you’ll be warm and cosy in various layers. In summer, shorts and vests can help keep you cool, but if you do like wearing full-length leggings, ensure you’re keeping hydrated.

Pro tip: Get some base layers and a windproof or waterproof running jacket. If you can workout in winter, you can workout in pretty much any weather!

Get social

Finding running partners who can help you on longer runs, in races or just for a sociable 5k has been one of the biggest things that has helped us get into running. Having someone to run with can help you stay motivated and get you working harder. It’s best to also mix up the running partners so you have partners that may push you harder and some that know you just want to have a run and a chat.

Pro tip: Join a local running club – they are often really friendly and most of the time you don’t have to become a member!

These are just some of the tips that have helped runners the world over get into running and keep up with it. Running doesn’t need to be hard and remember it’s about running at your own pace and what you’re comfortable with. Pushing it too hard and too early can result in injury, so make sure you’re looking after your body in between sessions.

You might want to look at our other blogs for more tips on exercise. Head to the main blog page to find out more.


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