Five things to remember when running
1) Easy does it
Some of us can get a little over eager when we’re out running and make a mad dash from the get-go. While we applaud your enthusiasm, this is a sure way of burning out before you even get started. Start slow and pace yourself. It means you’ll have the energy to last the entire run, enjoy it much more and what extra you have left in the tank you can burn off on the home stretch for a strong finish. It is much better than going helter-skelter at the start and dragging yourself across the finish line – end your run with a smile on your face.
2) Dress for the occasion
Avoid cotton! Just. Stay. Away. From. It. If it’s raining or you’re getting a little sweaty what was once a light-weight wonder has now become a heavy burden. And it can cause chaffing, which nobody and I mean nobody wants to endure on the run. Stick to the synthetics and you’ll have a fun time. If we’re going to talk about running attire, then we must chat about running shoes. Having the right shoes ensures you will not only have a comfortable run ahead by it will help keep those niggling injuries at bay. It means you’ll have to splash some cash on your shoes, but it’s going to save you a world of pain down the road. Before I forget, replace your running shoes after about 600kms – don’t wait until the sole has worn through.
3) Run against the traffic
It might seem a little awkward at first but run facing the traffic. It’s a safer option as you can see what is heading towards you. It also means there are no surprises and if you see a large van or truck heading your way you have the time up your sleeve to give it a wider berth.
4) Don’t be a hero
It is a must for beginners. If this is your first run, do not select an unforgiving course littered with hills or rough terrain. Give your body the time to adjust to these alien movements. For beginners, I recommend tackling a flat track before adding a hill or two a couple of months into your running adventure. If you tackle a beast of a trail from the very beginning and struggle your way through, or worse, injure yourself, it could scare you off from running for good. Remember to run smart.
5) Mix it up
To help strengthen your body and remain injury free add some variety to your exercise schedule. Don’t just rely on running to keep fit and healthy. Mix it up by riding a bike or swimming. It will help build supporting muscles used for running and keeps things interesting. It will also provide your muscles used for running a much-needed breather. Cross-fit sessions, while gruelling, build your stamina and will help you last longer out on the road or trail. Just make sure whatever you choose to do that it does not compromise your running.
A bonus tip… Run for yourself
No matter the occasion, make sure that you’re running because you want to run and challenge yourself. Yes, there’s nothing special than winning a race or fun run, but at the end of the day your biggest competitor is yourself. Focus on achieving personal bests and, more importantly, enjoy your runs.