Here Are Some Running Tips for Newbies, According to a Fitness Expert

From strength training to a good recovery day.

running tips for newbies
Image: Courtesy of Filip Mroz via Unsplash

The world has opened up again, lockdowns have ceased and fun runs are back! Whether you are a runner or not, a running event is always a fun morning out and is something worth doing.It also provides you with a good challenge that you can prepare for. We interviewed Ben Lucas, Director of Flow Athletic, to give us some more information about this really great way to exercise. Here are some of his top running tips for those who are new to running. Keep reading to learn more tips to add to your workout!

ben lucas running tips
Image: Courtesy of Flow Athletic

Here Are Some Running Tips for Newbies, According to a Fitness Expert

1) Start slowly

Whether you have decided to run a 5 km, 10 km or a marathon, it’s always a good idea to build up your kms gradually rather than run the full distance in your first training blocks. Why? Because you don’t want to injure yourself, sprain a muscle or scare yourself off of running. If you are brand new, choose a starting distance, which may only be 3 – 5 km and aim to finish that in your early training sessions. Even if you alternate between running and walking. As you get stronger, add extra distance to your training. You won’t need to fun the full distance of the event in your training sessions. Your objective rather, is to get yourself strong enough to be able to complete it on event day.

2) Mix up your training

When it comes to a fun run, you want to prepare for everything that the course will throw at you on the day. You will need to practice sprinting, to both get around people and for when you approach the finish line. You need to practice running at different speeds, as you will need to change your speed depending on the crowds around you. If there are hills on the course, you will want to practice running up hills etc. An example training week may look like:

  • 1 x long run
  • 1 x sprint day where you sprint 100 m 10 times with a break in between
  • 1 x speed play day where you run 3 – 5 km but alternate your speed. ie. you may run 400 meters fast and then slow down for 400m
  • 1-2 x strength training sessions in the gym
  • If there is a hill, dirt, mud, sand you may want to practice on those types of terrains one day a week two

3) Strength training

Running can be quite hard on your body so it is a good idea to strengthen the specific muscles that you need to carry you when you are running. One leg exercises are ideal to do as when you run, you are on one leg at a time. When you train two legs together, your stronger leg may over compensate for your weaker leg, but they both need to be equally strong for you to run efficiently. You also want to work on your core and your posture as running with poor posture will cause aches and pains pretty quickly.

4) Sign up to an event

Events are the best as you have a date that you need to be ready by, which means that you need to prepare. They are also so much fun and a good way to keep you excited to keep running. Events such as the Real Insurance Sydney Harbor 10k and 5k are great to do. If you are a beginner, the 5-10k option is a great place to start. If you are a seasoned runner, it is also a flat and fast course so you can get a great time.

5) Recover

All of this training to prepare you for a fun run is great, but remember that what you take from your body, you need to give back to it. Make sure you take time to recover. Stretching, foam rolling, get a massage, take a rest day or two. All of these things will help your joints, tendons and muscles recover. This is necessary for all people who exercise as having extreme muscle fatigue all the time can ruin your sleep and your energy levels

Meet Our Expert:

Benjamin Lucas is the owner and director of Flow Athletic Paddington. Ben grew up in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla, where he excelled in athletics, basketball and rugby league during his formative years. Post schooling he went on with his rugby league to play professionally for the Cronulla Sharks, in Brisbane and in Auckland. Whilst training for an Ultra-marathon in 2010 Ben made the acquaintance of one of Sydney’s leading yoga teachers Kate Kendall. It was this meeting that influenced Ben’s career to change trajectory. He sold his three personal training/fitness businesses in 2012 to commit to a new concept in health. In March 2013, Flow Athletic opened, bringing a unique mix of strength, fitness and yoga to the marketplace. Ben now spends the majority of his time on the growth of Flow. In 2015 Flow Athletic won the Telstra Start-Up of the year.

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