Running Tips by Tanuja Sodhi

10 Tips for the Run Rookies

With just 3 weeks to go for the Women 10K Run, I'm sure there is a rapid adrenaline rushwhenever you visualize yourself standing at the start line. There would surely be morenervous excitement if you are a running rookie and this happens to be your first running event! To make sure that your big run lives up to all the excitement that it promises, here are a few pointers you should keep in mind till you reach THE start line:

  1. Invest in the right pair of running shoes: This is to avoid blisters and shoe bites resulting from a tight or a loose pair of shoes that could affect your running experience adversely.
  2. Break in your new shoes gradually: If you've recently got yourself a new pair of running shoes, you should have already started training in these by now. Don't save your new shoes for the big day as running in a brand new pair on the race day is a recipe for disaster.
  3. Start each run with a gentle warm-up: It should be a minimum of a five minutes warm-up that could include a quick short walk, knee lifts, butt kicks, jogging on the spot, side bends, knee rotation, trunk rotation, etc.
  4. A proper cool-down routine is as important as a warm-up routine: Never underestimate the importance of a proper cool-down on completion of a run. First ease into a gentle walk and then incorporate static stretches to relax your muscles back into their pre-run state. This will not only prevent injury, but also help in quick recovery.
  5. Choose distance over pace and speed: If you're arunning newbie, do not worry about your paceand speed during training runs. You just need to focus on increasing your mileage gradually to be able to complete your race day distance comfortably and without injury.
  6. Don't be worried about taking walk breaks: Walking breaks are an intrinsic part of run training for the beginners as they help increase mileage and endurance. If you push yourself too hard to continue running without walk breaks during your initial training days, you're sure to burnout sooner than later. Make the running intervals longer gradually as your lung capacity keeps increasing.
  7. Build mileage gradually: 'Too much too soon' is a sure-shot way of 'hitting the wall'. It's better to run 2-3 times every week consistently rather than running 5-6 days one week, and then not running for the next 2 weeks due to exhaustion and muscle soreness. Regular weekly mileage will improve your lung capacity, muscle strength, endurance and pace.
  8. Rest days are a part of your training schedule: Weekly rest days are an absolute must for a proper recovery. If you skip these and over-train, it would eventually be counter-productive for your strength, endurance, speed and energy levels. Overtraining could even lead to long-lasting running injuries.
  9. Join a running group or get a running buddy with a similar goal: While there may be some of us who like to run solo, but generally speaking, a running partner or a running group can keep the motivation levels high and inculcate a sense of accountability in us. Besides, your run can become a super stress-buster when you chit-chat a little, laugh a little, and yet complete your goal distance for the day.
  10. Add cross-training sessions to supplement your running: A couple of cross-training sessions a week can benefit you in more ways than one. Cross-training can enhance overall fitness, increase running efficiency and help you recover faster. And to top it all, these sessions can keep your motivation levels up by breaking the monotony of the same fitness activity day-in and day-out. Some great cross-training options are- Cycling, yoga, swimming, strength training, Zumba, Pilates, etc.

Once you've cracked these 10 running tips, you're ready to test your running prowess on the race day! Go girls, junk those miles!