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New Runners- a few tips before pounding the streets

If you’re new to running, please start off slowly.

Do not think you will be able to get up and just be able to run a half marathon effectively or even be able to finish, and not pick up injuries. If you try too much too soon you are likely to hurt yourself and this will demotivate you. With anything you need to start bit by bit Running Experts suggest you should not increase your distances by more than 10% each week.

If you are brand new to fitness/running and are unfit it always best to speak to your doctor first especially if you are “obese” a BMI of over 30 http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx

Before you go out it is best to make sure you have a few essentials ready.

Footwear

The main cause of injuries come from incorrect footwear. There are differing running styles called Gaits. This can be Over Pronator, Neutral and Under Pronator. A good website with examples of what the different gaits look like and how to test yours on a piece of paper is http://www.fitfaqs.co.uk/questions/running-and-marathon-faqs/what-is-my-running-gait/

All good running shops will test your gait as well as help you with the type of trainer you require. They will give you video analysis

In Bristol the main two are Easy Runner (St Michael’s Hill) and Moti (Whiteladies Rd)

Watch

Also it is good to take a watch with a stopwatch function http://www.casio.co.uk/products/timepieces/casio-collection/Product/F-91W-1XY/ when I started running I used a Casio watch which I got for around £10 this is so you can see how long you are running. I now have a Garmin Watch but this is an extravagant outlay for someone just starting out.

Clothing

Clothes need to be fitted but comfortable, you do not want anything that will put you off your stride. Obviously depending on the weather amend your outfit. Compression clothing helps increase the blood supply to your heart and may increase recovery. This would be worn as a base layer. Secondary layer would be a normal long sleeve top and then depending on the conditions a running jacket. Sports Direct is always a good place for cheap clothing and always look out for Aldi and Lidl as they have weekly events starting on a Thursday.

Please make sure you stretch/warm up properly before going out for a run and when you finish as your body will thank you for this and will help aid recovery, making it easier for you to go running again

I would recommend checking out the NHS website as they have a Couch to 5K 9 week plan which you can download as podcasts http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/couch-5K-running-plan.aspx?Tag=Fitness

Thanks for reading my blog

I am off to sign up to Bristol 10K Sunday 5th May http://www.runbristol.com/10K/130/Home.aspx

New Year New You – Set a Goal

Happy New Year and all that jazz

Hopefully some of you have made resolutions and even better some of those resolutions maybe to get fitter in 2013

With everything new it is always better to set yourself a target, something to work towards. Business theorists suggest goals should be SMART so I will try and incorporate that into today’s post.

  • Specific –

This is the need for a specific goal against a general one. It must be clear in what you want to do

The question is what you want to achieve this year? is it 5K distance, 10K distance, Half-Marathon, Full Marathon or Ultra Marathon.

  • Measurable –

This is will help you ensure you are on track to meet your goal, reach a target date and it will help motivate as you will be able to map progress towards the goal.

The question is how will I know when the target has been met?

  • Attainable –

This is important as a goal should be stretching otherwise you are probably already doing this in your day to day life. However, a target shouldn’t be extreme and unachievable otherwise you would not be able to visualise yourself doing this and would create barriers to starting.

The question is what can you realistically achieve? If you are brand new to running I wouldn’t suggest going straight for the Marathon. It may look exciting on the Television but a lot of hard work and training goes into this. The good thing with goals you can always make new ones so you could start at 5k then 10k then Half then Full over a number of years, reassesing after every target is achieved.

  • Relevant –

Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life to take. By keeping your goal alligned to this it will help develop the focus to need to achieve it.

The question is this something I really want to do and is it fitting?! (get it)

  • Time-Bound –

This part of a goal is the importance of giving a target date a commitment to a deadline can help you focus on your goal.

The question is what can I do 5 weeks, 5 months from now, what can I do today?

Here  are some websites for inspiration

http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ DistWhen? Saturday mornings 9am Where? all around the UK including Adhton Court and L ittle Stoke Cost? Free events that are marshalled

http://runbristol.com/10K/130/Home.aspx Distance? 10K  When? Sunday 5th May 9:30 Where? Bristol

http://runbristol.com/HalfMarathon/106/Welcome-2013-Bristol-half-marathon.aspx.aspx Distance? 13.1 Miles When? Sunday 15th September 9:30 Where? Bristol

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/events/ this is good as you search for events by month, distance, area, type of race

Thanks for reading and good luck

It would be great to hear some of your goals in the comments section

Getting Started

Today I have sent off my application to be accepted onto the one day course – Leadership in Running Fitness.

This will be on January 13th and will mean I will be in a great position to take running sessions in Bristol, week commencing 14th.

The course is aimed primarily for those working with adults/ young people over the age of 12 who want to enjoy recreational running for fitness and health.

The content will help with

  • Planning Sessions
  • Delivering a safe and fun warm up and a cool down
  • Supervising effective stretching
  • Helping runners set and achieve SMARTER goals
  • Carrying out risk assessments

This is very exciting for me as I have made my New Year’s resolution to help people with their fitness goals for 2013.

So look out for Running Sessions soon and I will update this blog with hints and tips from various sources.

Louis

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"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." - Buddhist Aphorism