Tips provided by running expert and former international athlete Gareth Turnbull on behalf of Simplyhealth.
Always be realistic with the time you can commit to train. If you can manage one weekday and one weekend run then that’s brilliant.
The important thing is to develop an achievable routine and then stick to it. Life will of course occasionally get in the way! However, building up your training in a structured way will always get the best results.
Wear light and thin multi-layered running clothing as one heavier item will cause you to sweat up too much and potentially weigh you down in wet conditions, as well as retaining sweat. Also, protect those extremities! A good running hat and gloves will prove your favourite items of clothing in colder conditions!
I seem to run out of puff half way through – what can I do to ensure a stronger finish?
Consider looking at setting out consistent time markers (splits) for your run. If, for example, you want to run 40 mins per 5 miles, then look at each 1 mile split as being completed in 8 minutes and control your pace accordingly. This way you won’t run too fast too soon and by trusting your watch, you can tick off each mile in a specific time, knowing you will have enough energy to see yourself to the finish. Often it’s not about speeding up, rather just learning how not to slow down!
What training drills do I need to do to improve my 10 mile time?
Look at being smarter with your training and breaking down your race into separate compartments. If you are looking to run 30 mins then your training zone is 6 mins per 1 mile. By running distinct ‘intervals’ of half a mile in 3 mins multiple times within a run (with a jog recovery between each of them) you can teach your body to adapt to this race pace and make your goal target time seem easier on the day itself. Don’t do this on every run though as you still need to run at an easier pace for longer periods to develop the stamina you need to hit your goal.
How can I push myself but avoid injury?
Always remember to know the difference between stiffness and soreness. Any training programme will often leave you feeling tired or a little stiff in the morning or after exercise. However, a good stretching routine pre and post exercise should alleviate this. When such stiffness turns into pain then it’s time to stop in the short term and seek the opinion of a registered physiotherapist. You will always want to run but know your boundaries. A couple of days off to heal a strain or sprain could be the difference between making it to the start line (and over the finish line!). So, be sensible. Relax and trust in your training. You can do this!
Simplyhealth is title partner of the Great Run Series and is supporting runners every step of the way by helping people make the most of life through better everyday health. For more training advice, please visit www.greatrun.org/training-