Get ready for HBF’s Run for a Reason and start your training program now!
For beginners, or for those who haven’t run for a while, getting started is always the hardest part. Start gently with small, achievable goals, then gradually push yourself further when you feel ready – and before you know it, you’ll be reaching your personal best and feeling better than ever.
Here are our top tips to help you get into the rhythm and build up your endurance for race day.
Dress the part
Invest in a pair of good running shoes to help prevent injury. Choose lightweight garments that won’t get too weighed down with sweat (like cotton does), and won’t chafe or cause discomfort. For women, always wear a good quality sports bra – even if it’s a bit expensive, it’s well worth the investment!
Don’t try to push yourself too hard too soon. Training is a gradual process.
Set yourself a challenge
Setting a specific goal gives you something to focus on, helping you to track your progress and see your results more clearly – which then gives you more motivation. Having deadlines for your goals (and smaller milestones along the way) will also encourage you to keep going on those days when you might not feel like it.
Start slow, then build
Don’t try to push yourself too hard too soon. Training is a gradual process. Trying to make yourself go too fast or too far before your body is used to running increases your risk of injury, and it makes you more likely to burn out and give up.
Focus on the whole body
Running requires good all-over conditioning and strong core stability. For a few sessions a week, do some other exercises like circuit training and resistance exercises to keep your body in top form. Yoga or pilates are also great gentle activities that help you condition your muscles, particularly your core.
Check your footing
Your heel should strike the ground first, not the ball of your foot, and especially not the side – it can cause your foot to roll, leading to injuries such as shin splints, sore knees and back pain. On the whole try to run smoothly and rhythmically.
Train with friends
Training is much easier when you have someone there to encourage you and spur you on – and adding a social element makes it more enjoyable! Recruit a friend to participate in HBF’s Run for a Reason with you, or join in our free CBD-based training sessions to take advantage of the power of group motivation.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your running sessions. Some trainers suggest that you should be drinking fluids every 15 minutes when exercising.
When you feel thirsty, it means you’re already dehydrated, so prevent it by making sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your running sessions. Some trainers suggest that you should be drinking fluids (either water or a sports drink) every 15 minutes when exercising.
It’s important not to run on an empty stomach. Eat a small, healthy meal about an hour to 90 minutes before you run. For your main meals, eat carbohydrates with a low GI – those that release energy slowly – such as sweet potatoes and brown or Basmati rice, and make sure to include plenty of protein.
When you feel ready for a new challenge, add hills to your running route. It will make your lungs and muscles work harder, helping you to improve your strength and endurance.
Don’t be disappointed or too hard on yourself if you have a particularly tough day. Even if you feel like you’ve made no progress, remember that you will always have plateaus and that some days will be harder than others. The fact that you still got out there and did what you could is an achievement.