25 May Expert tips for your first fun run
So, you have signed up for your first ever fun run? Exercise Right asked top exercise experts what their advice was. This is what they said.
Fun runs are a great way to get you moving with friends and family, and usually do you bit to help out with charity. There are hundreds of different runs you can compete in and a range of different distances.
We tracked down some Accredited Exercise Professionals and asked them what their advice would be for fun run newbies and this is what they said.
Tips From the Experts to Get Your Started On Your First Fun Run
Fran Buffett, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Make sure your shoes are comfy for the distance…If they are a bit old, consider putting new inner soles in to help feet absorb the shock, the basic sport ones from the chemist work wonders!
Jacci Allanson, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
My tip! People forget that running is a skill! If you dont know where to start always consult your friendly AEP to create a plan and address your unique needs.
Injuries and running appear to go hand in hand. In fact, 70% of runners will be injured this year due to starting too hard, too fast or too far too soon. Muscle weakness and tightness, history of previous injury, being overweight can make all of these much much worse! This is why your AEP is a vital part of your running journey, especially as a beginner!
Elias Fulthorp, Accredited Exercise Scientist
Avoid cheap foot wear. Cheap shoes tend to have poor support (arch support or cushioning) which may over the duration of training lead to an overuse injury or alter running mechanics unfavourably.
Nolan Woo, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Running volume is key, get good at setting a running schedule and sticking to it. If you can train/self start when you least feel like it you’ll get good mental toughness. I think for beginners it’s not distance but duration which is more important.
Caitlin Marshman, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Listen to your body. Especially look out for prolonged leg soreness, sharp pain particularly in the ankles, feet or lower limbs. I always figure if lunge technique is poor then you shouldn’t be running.
Carly Ryan, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Don’t forget to do a warm up on the day to help prevent injury. There are usually lots of people at the starting line, so you may be standing around for a while. Try and keep your body moving before the race and gradually build your pace once you have started.
Complete the race at your own pace. It can be tempting to try and keep up with the pack, but be careful not to overextend yourself or you may fatigue too quickly and be at risk of injury.
Warm down. Once you reach the finish line it can be tempting to sit down straight away with refreshments and celebrate your achievement. However, to ensure you don’t experience too much stiffness and soreness the next day try some active recovery e.g. slow walking for a few minutes, and some stretching. Your body will recover more quickly. Being couchbound for the next three days won’t help your motivation to tackle your next fun run.
Mark Simpson, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Have a training plan, which includes frequent achievable goals. Engage your friends to help give you support and don’t put too much pressure on yourself – it’s meant to be fun!
Dave Hagger, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Create a support network: start running / walking with a friend to keep motivated.
Esmé Soan, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Don’t forget that stretching is important and myofacial release! Focus on your hip flexors/ hamstrings/ ITB / calves!
Anna-Louise Moule, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Running is essentially transferring from one leg to the other so you need to look at training this movement and being able to complete single leg stance movements with good pelvic stability, knee stability, glutes firing and core engaged.
Jonie Darrington, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Don’t overdo it otherwise it will lead to have major set backs – only run maximum 4 days a week.
Jacci Allanson, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
People forget that running is a skill! If you don’t know where to start always consult your friendly AEP to create a plan and address your unique needs. Injuries and running appear to go hand in hand. In fact, 70% of runners will be injured this year due to starting too hard, too fast or too far too soon. Muscle weakness and tightness, history of previous injury, being overweight can make all of these much much worse! This is why your AEP is a vital part of your running journey, especially as a beginner!
Richelle Street, Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Small and steady steps. Ensuring that you have SMART goals along the way (i.e. fortnightly mini goals). Slowly increase your rest to running time intervals until you can run for a minimum of 10 -15 minutes continuously. Be sure to track your progress and acknowledge those achievements so your motivation improves along the way. And most importantly have fun. Maybe sign up with a friend as that extra social support may be just what you need on the big day.
Ready to start training? Download the free Nike Running Club app that provides you with guided runs that help you focus on your breathing and technique!