Feel better, get on track, it is time to start running.
I could say it’s the dogs fault and it would be true, because that is what made me start to run again. Seven years ago we rescued our first dog, a beautiful little lurcher called Livingstone. Every morning I put on my wellies took the children to school and then took Livingstone for a walk.
That was until one day, Livingstone decided to run, and then I had to run to catch up with him – in my wellies! I eventually caught up with him, just as he reached a black Labrador with its owner, who was fully kitted out in his running gear. He looked both surprised and put out as he looked round and said ‘great overtaken by a dog and caught up by a woman in wellies’.
It was after this that I took off the willies, bought a pair of running shoes and started running, and so it began and continues.
The Right Fit
The best thing you can do is to get properly fitted with the best running shoes you can afford. Go to a running shop, where the staff can watch you run, they will take into consideration the length of your stride and the way you place your feet. Having good quality, well fitting shoes will make a huge difference to how you run and how you feel afterwards. With any shoes ensure that your foot and your instep are well supported, believe me you will feel the difference, try on different makes and styles of shoes, you will know when they are a good fit. Good fitting shoes will cause less strain on your joints and cause less stress to your muscles.
What Should You Wear
First of all you do not need the most expensive, brightly coloured, high tech running gear, but if you feel that style matters and it really will help you then there are an abundance of styles out there. However where I am happy to spend money is to have well fitting shorts or running leggings, this makes all the difference, you need to feel comfortable. Socks, ensure your socks are good quality and do not cause blisters on your feet. Ladies you need a well fitting sports bra again this will make you feel comfortable. Dress in light layers, you will get hot, you need to be able to take a layer off, make sure it is something light that you can tie around your waist.
This is important, stretch the backs of your legs and your upper body, stretch as much as you can, you will perform better. Stretch your arms and your torso, try squats, lunges, stretch out your heel and your feet. Your body will be grateful, you will perform better, good core muscles improve both your posture and your wellbeing. Off you go.
And You Are Off
If this is your first time running for a while or ever do not expect to run miles on your first outing. Make a plan, take into account your fitness, the time you have available and the distance you are going to run. It is perfectly acceptable to start with a plan that means you run for 5 minutes and briskly walk for 5 minutes, continue this for 3 – 4 runs and you will then realise that you can run 10, walk 5, gradually increase your run time and decrease your walk time. Pace yourself and within a short space of time you will see a huge improvement, which will motivate you to run again. If you want to see a continued improvement aim to run 2-3 times per week.
Uphill, Downhill or Simply Flat
Its good to vary your ground, at first you will most likely want to stay on the flat, but as you build your stamina and your strength you will want to add some gently gradients to the mix.
Varying your route is good for you; running up hill will increase your stamina and your fitness and will also use different muscle groups. Be careful when running downhill, it may fell easier but it will add undue pressure to your joints. The best you can do is mix it up, vary your routes not only is it good for your body it is also good for your wellbeing and keeps you interested. Push yourself a little at a time, always think you can and you will!
My Top Running Tips
Invest in the best running shoes you can afford
Wear loose & layered clothing, easy to take off and tie around your waist
Choose your route to include varying gradients
Always warm up your whole body
Drink plenty of water, being hydrated will improve your performance
Take water with you
Don’t expect too much from yourself
Set realistic goals for yourself and when you smash them be happy!
Run with a friend, or join your local running group – you will keep each other going
Enjoy your running use it as a time for you, but allow at least one day per week for your body to rest
PS Using Rosemary in the bath or shower is a great way to treat tired muscles – try using Rosemary & Manadarin Body Wash, stimulate your circulation be gently exfoliating.