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10 Steps To Becoming A Runner

3 MIN READ • 11th April 2016

If the idea of pounding the pavements or taking on your first race fills you with fear, try our top tips to help you run like a pro...

  • Get kitted out
    Before you do anything else this month, make sure you’ve got yourself some good running shoes. “Most sports shops will provide you with a free step and gait analysis to help you pick the best trainers to suit your stride and help avoid any issues with injuries,” personal trainer Guy Russell ( tells us.

  • Motivate, motivate, motiva
    You could have all the good intentions in the world, but if you want to step outside your front door you’re going to need a generous helping of motivation to get you into gear. “Invest in some inspiring, upbeat music to run to,” says Guy. “Either make a playlist or buy a workout CD. Alternatively, try listening to an audio book and perhaps you can learn something while you run!”

  • Keep it interesting
    Workouts becoming a little stale? “If you’re road running, try to take different routes each time so you don’t get bored with the same old scenery,” explains Guy. “You may find this will help you run even further without realising, too.” Result!

  • Vary your pace
    To see better results, up the intensity of your session. “Incorporate some interval training during your run, such as sprinting for 20 seconds, jogging for 30 seconds and repeating this circuit for 10 minutes,” Guy says. “This will help improve your fast-twitch muscle fibres as well as the slow-twitch ones.”

  • Buddy up
    “Encourage a friend to join you, as this helps with motivation and you may find yourself running that little bit faster without noticing,” advises Guy.
    “When running at a comfortable pace you should be able to easily hold a conversation with your friend – just watch you’re not gossiping more than you’re exercising!

  • Quench your thirst
    Ensure you keep hydrated during a tough workout. “You will sweat massively when running, either in the summer when it’s hot or more deceptively in the winter when you put lots of layers on beforehand,” says Guy. “Get yourself a handle bottle which is easier to grip whilst jogging.”

  • Twinkle toes
    When we walk we have a heal strike, meaning our heels hits the floor first. “When running you want to be on your toes, as this is more efficient in terms of muscle activation and less stressful on your knees,” Guy explains.
    “It sounds strange, but the more you lean your body forward, the more you will want to go onto the balls of your feet and should naturally start to take short, quick steps rather than slower plods.”

  • Treadmill Tricks
    Most of us know that running is tough on our joints, but if you want to reduce the level of stress to your shins, hit the gym instead. “If you’re a road or field runner, during the winter you may want to start using a treadmill,” Guy explains. “They offer better shock absorption and suspension, resulting in less stress on your knees. Plus, if you want to whittle your waistline, treadmills have variable settings, such as weightloss, fat burning zones and in-built interval training programmes. What’s more, you won’t have to contend with harsh weather conditions!”

  • Be safe
    “If you’re exercising outside, be sure to wear something visible in the dark, like reflective materials and brightly coloured kit,” says Guy. “Also, avoid loud earphones while running outdoors so you’re aware of your surroundings, like traffic and oncoming pedestrians.”

  • Use your arms
    Your arms help to counterbalance your legs during your session and the faster you use them, the quicker your legs will go. “This is particularly important when sprinting,” Guy tells us. “However, when jogging, ensure your arms have a wide range of movement to help maintain good posture and balance which, in turn, will help prevent injury.”

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