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Running in the Park

Running: Getting Started & How To Improve your Performance

Posted on November 24th, 2016

Running is a great benefit for your health, fitness and wellbeing and is conveniently accessible, as there are minimal costs involved and you can run anywhere. If you are new to running, our physio, Martin and the guys at Up and Running Manchester, have provided some tips you may find useful to start running and stay motivated.

Appropriate footwear is very important when running to reduce the risk of injury.

Tom, our Specialist Biomechanical Podiatrist can assess your foot type and running style to advise you on which trainer is best for you.

Specialist running footwear shops are also great starting points to discuss which shoe is best for you. For those who are based in Manchester City Centre, Tom holds a clinic on the shop floor of Up & Running, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WR.

Together, Tom and the Manchester team can work closely in finding the correct shoe choice from beginner to seasoned athlete. Leading free 30 minute Biomechanical Assessments, you can book in for an appointment and be seen by our Podiatrist; he can answer any queries you have, whether it’s about improving your running technique or the best footwear for you. Plus, with the knowledgeable Up & Running guys on hand to provide tips and recommendations, we’re sure you will be one of the most informed runners out there.  Each member of the team has a huge amount of experience ranging from sprinting to ultra-running, 5ks to marathons.

Warm up:

The best warm up is a gentle movement which replicates the exercise you are about to start. An example of this for running would be marching on the spot or a 5-minute walk and gradually increasing your speed to a faster pace eventually progressing in to a run. Dynamic stretches can also be used as part of your warm up.

Start slow:

To reduce the risk of overuse injuries, it is important to gradually increase your distance and to incorporate rest days into your routine. To start, try running 2-3 times a week with rest days in between each running day; Rest days are days off from running to allow your muscles time to recover. Initially if you are new to exercise, you may benefit from not doing any exercise on these days. As your capacity to exercise increases, you can do a different form of exercise during rest days, which works different muscles from the ones used when running; for example, you could do an upper body exercise routine.


Gradually increasing the distance you run is key to reducing your injury risk. To help with this, the NHS has a good plan called “couch to 5k” which demonstrates how you can go from no exercise, to running 5km over a 9-week period.

Cool down:

When you have completed your run, it is important to cool down and stretch your major muscles. An easy way to cool down is to walk the last 5 minutes of your run, followed by static stretches. It is good practice to stretch your whole body after exercise, upper and lower body. Appropriate lower body stretches are lower back, glute (buttocks), hip flexors, quads (front of thigh), hamstrings and calf stretches. For best results, aim to hold the stretches for 3 x 20 seconds. We do have instructions of each of these stretches with instructions of how to complete so feel free to contact us if you require help.

Staying motivated:

Keep getting short term goals that will help you achieve your long term running goal. Achieving a goal is a great motivator to continue exercising and achieving a goal is a great reminder of how far you have come.  A further way to remain motivated is to participate in group exercise. Research shows that exercising with people improves long term compliance to exercise. Try to run with a friend or even join a running club.

Up and Running Manchester are currently holding a sale for the next couple of weeks. Savings range from 10% off up to 60% off products, for further information visit their website here.

Activity across our Clinics

     We are now offering 1-to-1 #Physio led Clinical #Pilates sessions at our #Manchester City Centre clinic. Our Senior Physio, Abigail explains the many advantages to the exercise here in this article ➡️ link in bio #Pilates #Manchester #FridayReads  Pauline didn't think she'd make it to the #GreatManchesterRun, but with some determination and a little help from our team, she smashed a goal! #ThursdayInspo #ThursdayMotivation #TestimonialThursday
     Senior #Physio, John & #MassageTherapist @tomhenryburden travelled to #London this month to support the #athletes at this year's #SummerSocial  ➡️ find the link to the article in our bio  Starting from this #Saturday, our #Massage Therapist, Tom Burden will be available for appointments at our @totalfitnessgym #Altrincham and #Manchester City Centre clinics. Call 0161 832 9000 for further info #wellnesswednesday
     Harris & Ross patient, Rhys was told he would never be able to run again. But since then, he's been defying expectations and has recently completed IRONMAN 70.3 ➡️link in bio #mondaymotivation  Proud of #physio, Abi & our patients who ran #GreatManchesterRun,including @katieedith who ran the 10k & Des finished the 1/2 marathon in 2:2:47!

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