By Physiotherapist, Paulina Backiel
Just starting a new running program? You might have some questions about how you can optimize your runs. Read on for my top 5 tips for beginners! If you need more assistance starting a running program, then book in for my Run Faster and Smarter Program for a personalized run program made just for you.
Tip 1: Breathing
When you are starting to run, this is probably one of the hardest things to control. My best tip would be to breathe through your mouth; this will allow you to get heaps of oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. If, at races, you are a hyperventilator like me, calm your breathing by breathing slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth. Once you are calm you can go back to mouth breathing.
Tip 2: Distance > Speed
I cannot stress this enough to my beginner runners: don’t gas yourselves up in the first 100m. This is why I always say to focus on distance rather than speed. In the beginning, you may find that mixing running with a bit of walking can get you that distance. Then, just slowly decrease the amount you are walking (resting) and you will be running the whole distance in no time.
Tip 3: Warm-up
This does not mean to stand there and stretch. You need dynamic stretching, which means introducing movement to your muscles. Check out my dynamic stretching blog for more information.
Tip 4: Nutrition
Everyone does all these pre-workout drinks, energy shots, and so on and so forth. Personally from a beginner standpoint, I think that for training they are all a bit of BS. The only time I would consider a pre-workout sports drink for a beginner during training (this is not including racing) is when you have a race in a month and need to try it out before race day. Trust me, trying a new sports drink on race day is never a good idea. Your stomach can hate you!
Tip 5: Shoes
I’ve written heaps of blogs about shoes so feel free to check them out. But the one thing I would advise for beginner runners is to go get professionally fitted. And this doesn’t mean go to a huge franchise because they will probably put you into their most expensive new thing. As a past employee, I highly recommend a place called Running Science. All you do is tell them what you need your shoes for, your history and goals and they pick out choices for you. The only thing you have to do is see which choice is most comfortable for you.
If you are a runner who has suffered an injury, then I’m your gal! You can book in for a physiotherapy appointment with me here. Once again, be sure to check out my Run Faster and Smarter Program in order to level up your running game. I guarantee that I can get you stronger, and can help you achieve all of your running and fitness goals.