Our runners range from very experienced runners to those who haven’t ever run more than 5k… So each of you will need to plan your training programmes around your own experience and fitness levels, but here are some principles which apply to you all:
Be kind to yourself
Whether you have been running for years, or are just getting started, pay attention to your body. Preparing for any distance running event requires you to build up mileage and speed month by month. Do this at a pace which is right for you, and make sure you build in to your schedule warm ups, warm downs, stretching and rest days. If you’re a beginner, it can be helpful to follow a running plan – there are plenty on the internet – and perhaps a star chart or an incentive if you find sticking to your plan difficult.
And be kind to yourself. If you don’t feel like running one day, or if you are too busy to, it is okay to acknowledge that – and go in the next few days instead! If you feel any pain or injury, make sure you get it checked out before continuing to train. And of course, if you have a history of medical or physical issues, do check with your doctor that running is suitable for you right now.
Taking on a challenge is a brilliant opportunity to push yourself to achieve something fantastic – but remember, you don’t have to set any records – this should be fun!
Check your equipment
The main equipment you need is good running shoes. These might be shoes you already own, or a new pair: there are hundreds of models and makes and you will be spoilt for choice! But make sure; (i) that they fit well and you have room to wiggle your toes, and (ii) they are not too worn down: Old running shoes have reduced shock absorption so you are at higher risk of injury if your shoes have already run many miles.
In terms of other equipment, you don’t really need any. Comfortable running clothes might include a short sleeve top and a long sleeve top to take off when you get hot. Gloves for cold hands. Reflective vest/lights for safety if you are running in the dark!
Hydration and sleep
You will probably already know that one of the secrets of success is good sleep. If you find sleeping difficult, try Beditation. Recommended by the children and young people who we teach.
Did you know a secret to success is good hydration too? Especially if you are training for a 10k! Whilst the exact amount of water each person needs to drink each day varies depending on your age, gender, physical condition and activity levels, if you are increasing your physical activities you need to increase your water intake too as you can lose large amounts of fluid through sweat when exercising for long periods.
Sleep well, drink well and run well.