Who fancies some top running advice from a pro? You know the sort of stuff that helps you run faster and further than ever before ? Yeah I thought you might!
Through my work with Nike I have been fortunately to work with some of the top trainers in the UK. One in particular who has become a good friend of mine is Gil Cramer AKA Coach G. He is a top running coaching and owner of F.I.T Concepts. He has been kind enough to share his top tips for the beginner runner.
Get faster. Go further. Get stronger.
- K.I.S.S (keep it simple sprinters) Start off with the basics: a watch that tells the time, a pair of comfortable shoes and a planned route. Now go out and run and see how that feels. Does it hurt? Does it feel good? How far did you go? Did you enjoy yourself? Don’t get too hung up on pace or time. Once you have the basics right you can start to add in the fancy stuff like km splits, gained altitude, perceived physical exertion (p.p.e) or lactate threshold.
- Work on technique. Runners are always in a rush to get somewhere (and for too many runners that’s to get to the physiotherapists’ exam room) and neglect the most essential aspect of any sport: the technique of the movement. Running is a skill just like riding a bike, swinging kettlebell, or driving a car. You can have a go on your own, but if you practice with the correct knowledge and understanding it will be safer, more enjoyable and you’ll be able to do it for very long time.
- Building up to the big one. One of the most common questions from runners starting out is ‘how do I build up my running distance?’ My advice is to use interval training, interchanging between walking and running. There are a few reasons why this works but most importantly it helps build confidence in your ability and it also allows your body to adjust with little strain on the muscles. Once you have the distance you were aiming for you can start to increase speed. The aim here is to train as much as possible without suffering from injury; slow and steady wins races.
- Hydrate before it’s too late. A commonly misunderstood aspect of running is how much fluid to take in. Most people assume they should regularly drink whilst running. This misinformation is propagated by companies whose best interest is that you drink all the time as much as you can, regardless of the impact on your health. Getting your pre and post hydration right is key. If you’re running shorter distances you probably don’t need to drink during the run at all. When it comes to hydration, getting the right balance may take a few tries but should make your runs much more comfortable.
- Take a breath and relax. Breathing is all about your fitness vs. the amount of stress you’re putting on your body. A regular, experienced runner will need to breathe fewer times than an unfit runner at the same distance. This is because a regular runner’s body understands how much distance it needs to cover so is relaxed while running. My advice here is to stay relaxed, breath at a comfortable rate for you and if you do struggle to breath slow down, recover and try again.
Has Gil missed something? Maybe you have a top tip to share? Comment below.