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By Naomi Brasier (Osteopath)

Where do I start? How far should I run? Where should I run? What shoes do I wear? Will I hurt myself?

If you are beginning to run there are probably a few questions swirling around in your mind. But we are here to help! I will be answering a lot of common questions I receive about running.

Now is a better time than ever to answer these questions as gyms are now closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

TIP #1 – Work your way into it

If you have never run before or are returning from injury I wouldn’t advise starting out with a marathon. Start with smaller runs and progressively increase the distance/speed using your body and general fitness level as a guide.

TIP #2 – The 10% Rule

This is an excellent rule for injury prevention and gradually building your fitness.

The 10 % Rule states that you should only increase your weekly mileage, volume or intensity in increments of 10%. So once you have eased into your running you can build it up the following week by 10%.

So for example, if you’re running 10kms a week now, and you want to increase your training, run 11kms next week, and 12kms the week after that.

Remember, the 10% rule can apply to distance, time and/or intensity.

TIP #3 – How often should you run?

This is completely up to you. Let your body guide you. If you feel sore and mentally not up to it, don’t run. If you are feeling good and confident about your running, then go for it!

If you are a beginner I would suggest starting small, say 1 to 2 times a week. Remember to implement the 10% rule.

TIP #4 – Running location

Different running surfaces will impact your body in different ways. Asphalt is a hard surface and less forgiving on your muscles and joints when compared to soft surfaces like grass. Surfaces like grass also add an extra stability component into the run as the ground can often be uneven.

Try to mix up your running locations to avoid injuries and keep it exciting!

TIP #5 – Correct footwear

There is no single running shoe that is perfect for everyone. However, you should find the right shoe for you. The type of shoe you invest in depends on a number of things.

  1. Do you have high or low arches?
  2. Do your ankles role in or out when you walk or run?
  3. Are you running mainly on the road, grass or trails?

It is also important to change your running shoes regularly between 300 to 500 miles. Why the range? Because how quickly a shoe wears depends on you. For example, if you run 20 kms a week your shoes will wear out faster than if you ran 5 kms a week.

If you run in inappropriate footwear you can develop injuries such as shin splints and stress fractures (to name a few).

Stay tuned for 10 Tips for Beginner Runners Part 2 – and HAPPY RUNNING!

Remember stay positive, focus on the good things and be kind to one another in this difficult time!

If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact us at the clinic. We are always happy to help!

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