10 Tips That Will Make You a Better Runner.

10 Tips That Will Make You a Better Runner.

Running is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and get in shape. Running will build your core strength, increase your endurance, and give you more energy. Regular running can change your life.
OK... Here're my suggestions for getting started:

1) Get the right shoes.

Every runner begins with a first step, but that first step could lead to disaster if you aren't wearing the right shoes. Before taking the plunge, go to a specialist running shop to have your running style reviewed.

2) Find a running partner.

One of the best ways to get started running is to ask a friend to coming along with you. Taking that first step is the hardest part of any exercise, and having someone with you for encouragement and moral support is a great way to combat first-time nerves.

3) Stretch.

Whether you are going on a short sprint or a long distance plod it is essential that you give yourself time to stretch before and after your run. Stretching is one of the most important things you can do after a warm-up to protect your body from injury, as well as easing muscle soreness.

Always make sure you stretch your muscles slowly, holding each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. A common mistake is to bounce during a stretch, but this actually risks tearing the muscle. Stop the stretch when you begin to feel tightness in the muscle.

4) Make a running playlist.

Whether you are jogging with a friend or by yourself, having a good beat to pound the pavements to is essential for many runners. I like running to music, but I have a friend who enjoys listening to audio books on some of our longer sessions.

5) Hydrate well.

When doing any type of exercise it is important to keep well hydrated. Running when dehydrated will affect your performance, slow your ability to recover for the next workout and can lead to heat stroke. Plus it will make that jog feel one hundred times more painful than it should be!

Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after a run. Choose your tipple carefully- water and sports drinks are the best for rehydrating but caffeinated and alcoholic drinks can actually leave you less hydrated than you were before- running on a hangover can be a huge mistake.

6) Build your mileage gradually.

Rome wasn't built in a day. The first time you go running you may only be able to run for 5 minutes, and walk for 10. But that shouldn't discourage you- everyone starts from somewhere, and those miles will quickly clock up. Take a look online for some beginner's running programs to find a routine that will suit you.

7) Include other types of activity.

Mix it up! Including other types of non-impact cardiovascular activity will help you avoid injury and build your endurance. Go cycling, take a swim or use a cross trainer to keep your workouts interesting.

Make sure you also vary your running routine. Excessive hill running can put unnecessary demands on the calf muscles and cause painful shin splints. And whilst downhill running may feel easier, it can actually put as much stress on your body as running uphill.

8) Seek treatment for injuries.

Over half of recreational runners develop an injury at least once a year, almost always in the lower limbs, and most runners will need to see a physiotherapist at some stage in their life for unresolved injuries. Physiotherapy can be expensive, but with private medical insurance you will be covered for the cost of consultations and treatment.

9) Set yourself goals.

It may seem terrifying to start off, but signing up for a race is a great way to keep you motivated. Cancer Research UK often hold sponsored runs which can be as short as 3k or as long as 10k- raising money for charity will make it all seem worthwhile. I signed myself up for a 10k run about 6 months after jogging regularly and became so addicted I entered a half marathon immediately afterward!

10) Take pride in your sport.

Wear your trainers with pride, display your trophies and medals, put it on your CV, and gloat to your friends and family. You should be proud of yourself- you are keeping your heart and lungs healthy, avoiding obesity and diabetes and showing commitment to a skill.

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