As easy as running sounds, it isn't. Running can be a very technical and challenging sport especially if you haven't done any physical activity for a while. Most of us don't have knees like we did when we were 16 years old so it's important to stick to a training programme, stretch after every workout and have a realistic goal in mind. Here are our top running tips.
1. Ease yourself in and out of your training session. Warm muscles are essential when endurance training, and stretching at the end of your workout reduces muscle soreness and improves recovery.
2. Keep your motivation levels up by planning different running routes. Websites like runkeeper can provide great inspiration. This will help stop you getting bored and vary the hills, terrain, and length of your run.
3. Aim to progress each time you go for a run over a period of several weeks, rather than going all out from the start. This will prevent you suffering from burnout and make you far more likely to stick at it.
4. Stop when you get tired. You may feel like running through the pain but if you carry on, you could risk damage to your muscles as your form will change. We say rest up, and get back out there when you're full of energy.
5. Having a protein rich snack 30 minutes after a workout or training session will reduce your likelihood to overeat later. Grab a protein shake, or have some smoked mackerel with salad.
6. Adding strength training to your routine can enhance your performance. If you focus on support muscles you can also help protect yourself against injury.
7. Calculate your optimum heart rate for CV training by subtracting your age from 220. You should aim to work out at 80% of this. Polar make excellent heart rate monitors and watches so you can track your cardiovascular performance on the go.
8. Vary your training- type, intensity, and time. If your body gets into a routine you may find yourself reaching a plateau. By introducing variety you will continually shock your body and ensure you maintain healthy progress.
9. It's a proven fact that training with a friend can boost your motivation and progress. Find a buddy and make your training schedule together so that it works for both of you. Choose someone of a similar fitness level, with similar goals.
10. If you have a bad training session, it's OK! Everyone has a bad day from time to time. The most important thing is not to let it put you off, and get back out there.