Running: Getting Started & How To Improve your PerformancePosted 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.