Road Running - Guide for Beginners

 

SOME TIPS FOR A NOVICE ROAD RUNNER FROM CORNWALL ATHLETIC CLUB’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP AND COMMONWEALTH GAMES MARATHON REPRESENTATIVE DAVE BUZZA

 

Dave Buzza

 

Try to make your running enjoyable - you are far more likely to keep it going

 

  • The best way is to find a running partner of similar pace - have a chat - time passes more quickly and you are more likely to run if you've pre-arranged a meeting time!
  • Don't always run hard - if you always finish very tired, you are more liable to give up.
  • Find somewhere you enjoy running - woods, cliffs, etc

 

Combine jogging with walking at first, if needed

 

Try to avoid running on roads/pavement all the time - the harder surface often causes more injuries and ‘posing’ before an audience often pushes you to run faster

 

Don't do too much too soon - a common problem is to get enthused for a week or two and run too often and/or too hard and then be either injured or just over-tired and give up.  Try to build up gradually both in number and length of runs. Consistency and gradual progression are key training principles!  Only add one extra run to your schedule each week.

 

After a month or two of running, try to run further than usual once a week (but slower).  This helps to improve your body's ability to transport oxygen to the muscles and the muscles' ability to use it.  Also, once a week try to run faster than usual, which will both enhance your ability to do so, plus make your normal training pace seem that much easier.

 

It can be very useful to join a club - people to run with, information on entering and getting to races and lots of free advice from runners who have faced the same problems.  Most clubs have at least one organised session a week for all abilities.

 

Hydration and Nutrition

 

You only need to take a drink with you if it's very hot and you're running hard for a long way - just drink well before you go.  Whatever you drink in the last 5-10 minutes won't be ‘peed out’ before you start! Water is great and has the added advantage that you can chuck it over your head without getting very sticky!  Unless you're at a very high level you don't need isotonic/carbo-loading drinks and even at the top level a lot of runners just use water.  And tap water is just as good as bottled!

 

Likewise don't get too worried about your food - a welcome benefit of running is that as well as burning up a lot of calories running, your metabolic rate goes up as well, so you burn up more at rest as well as when exercising.  If you've got anything like a balanced diet, you will cope well, tone up and lose some excess weight, that is if you have any.

 

Footwear

 

Although evidence points to running being good for strengthening bones, muscles and ligaments it is still important to buy a pair of running shoes that suit your build, ability and running mileage.

 

It is advisable to go to a shop which specialises in running shoes, rather than a general sports shop. 'PB Running' have shops in Hayle and Roche and can recommend the best running shoes to suit you, your running style and training. The Roche branch can also carry out 3D Gait Analysis. Both shops have a really wide range of stock and expert advisers.

 

Further afield, Frank Elford Sports and Sweatshop in Plymouth both have a good selection of shoes, as has Ironbridge Runner, in Exeter. Be prepared to pay at least £120 RRP or more for a decent pair. New 'high tech' shoes can be well over £200- but they are not really necessary unless you are at elite level. 

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