10 Golden Tips for Running
Tips for runners told by runner Steve Coster.
Running a marathon involves a lot of determination, hard work and unfortunately, sometimes it involves having to recover from injuries. But can it be prevented?
Acupuncturist Steve Coster tells us that he sees “many running injuries that might have been easily prevented with the right footwear and some good advice!”.
As a marathon runner who has experienced the frustration of getting an injury in the middle of training, we figured that the best way to help prevent a mistake is to learn where someone else made one!
Here are “10 Golden Tips” to help you make sure you’re running safely and injury free!
Staying motivated is a task in itself and running aimlessly can get tedious. With a programme you know when you should be running and what type of running you should be doing.
Pin it up to your fridge where you can see it regularly, this way you can plan your week accordingly.
2. Reach for a goal!
Set yourself up for success. Aim to run a mile quicker than last time, train to complete an upcoming marathon, feel that pride in yourself when you lose that extra weight that you want gone. Having a goal to work towards can be the difference between you staying in bed on a wet Monday morning and you be out on those streets working hard!
3. Be prepared!
It doesn’t matter if you are running first thing in the morning before work or if you’re out in the evening. The best way to make sure that you get out there and quickly is to have all your running gear ready – put it on the radiator so that it’s toasty if you have to, being prepared to get straight out there will stop you from having the time to talk yourself out of it.
4. Have the right footwear!
Most running injuries that Steve sees are caused by runners wearing the wrong shoes. “When we run the foot either pronates, supinates or is neutral”, if your shoes don’t support your movements it will more than likely lead to injury. Go to your local running shop and have your gait analysed, try on several pairs of shoes to make sure you find the one most comfortable for you.
5. Change your shoes after about 500 miles!
As a runner who has tried many different running shoe brands and ran thousands of miles, Steve states that in his experience this piece of advice isn’t a marketing lie to make you spend more money. The cushioning of your shoes do deteriorate enough to make a difference, it is important to stay aware of when you should replace them. Remember that if you can avoid injury, it is a small price to pay.
6. Don’t waste money on expensive waterproof clothing!
The most effective waterproofing you can get is your skin. It is more important to keep warm, so wear layers that you can remove. In the winter, Steve finds a base-layer worn close to the skin is ideal insulation. Steve reinforces that the only thing you shouldn’t scrimp on is footwear.
7. Don’t eat more than you need!
If you are running to lose weight, then it’s a simple equation: burn more calories than you are taking in. But be careful that you are eating enough! A simple rule of thumb is to eat 3 meals a day, eat organic foods, avoid refined sugars, and drink 2 litres of water daily. It pays to do your research or talk to a professional before embarking on a programme. Warning: If you are putting on weight or you are feeling dizzy, please consult your GP.
8. Don’t listen to music!
Listening to music prevents you from developing an ear for your body’s natural rhythm and instead, you will try to pace yourself to the music’s beat. Running to the rhythm of an upbeat song may be quicker than your fitness allows, there is also the danger not being able to hear traffic and becoming unaware of your surroundings, all of which can lead to injury.
9. Listen to your body!
Running is meant to be enjoyable; if you are feeling exhausted or ill, then it might be worth skipping a day or changing your planned run to something easier. Recovery is just as important as training – you will not get stronger without rest. There is always another day.
10. The seemingly obvious – Stretching!
Take at least 20 minutes to stretch after each run. If you are pushed for time, then at least stretch your legs for 5 minutes each (focusing on each muscle group). Regular stretching will reduce the possibilities of injuries and will help keep your body in shape. If stretching is new to you or you are unsure of which stretches to do, seek advice and, even if it’s a one off, attending a Pilate’s class will show you the correct stretches.