How to succeed in your running journey

The running process is very complicated, a combination of psychology and physiology, but I wanted to try and explain why some of you may be experiencing tough runs.

When you run, energy is supplied two ways: aerobically (with oxygen hence the talking test) and anaerobically (without oxygen so not being able to talk easily). Basically if you run aerobically the energy nutrients, stored carboydrates and fat, provide the fuel you need for running comfortably, ie being able to talk. If you run too fast therefore using the anaerobic energy system so without oxygen, you can’t last too long because the sudden energy demands quickly exhaust your energy supplies and force you into oxygen debt. You end up feeling rubbish because the muscles produce a limited amount of anaerobic energy and form lactic acid as a by product and if your body not used to getting rid of this by product quickly it makes your legs feel heavy and as oxygen is taken from the brain to your muscles you can start to feel light headed, dizzy, dehydrated and have negative thoughts.

When you start running I say slow it down and talk because we are building you up anaerobically, so that you use the energy nutrients stored within your body and budy aerobic endurance so that your body has the ability to sustain prolonged lengths of running. The faster you run, the more you need anaerobically and you if you set off too fast you won’t last too long at fasterer speeds because the sudden energy demands on your body quickly exhaust aerobic energy supplies, forcing you into oxygen debt as described above. So my advice is

Base training When you construct a house, you start with the base and build on that, the same is true of running, first build the base of aerobic endurance, slowly increase the mileage, recover and rebuild your miles. Build your weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week, so if you run 5km in a week, run 5.5km the next and about 6km the next and so on. There may be times when even a 10% increase proves too much so use it as a guideline and not a rule. Do not run more than twice a week to start off with, this will ensure you have a good base. Stay with twice a week until you feel strong enough that you know what your body can tolerate, then you can increase to 3 times a week when you have developed a sense of your limits.

Don’t overtrain If you overstress your body it will break down, you will lose form and you could get injured. As your fitness improves your body will adapt to handle the training load, you will learn to feel when you have over done it…so listen to your body. Avoid the terrible too’s…doing too much, too soon and too fast is the number one cause of running injuries. If you rush the process you could break down rather than build up. The body needs time to adapt..see below

Recovery Make sure you recover, don’t do too much too soon ;) have easy days and rest days, Easy days are runs at conversational pace and don’t forget what might be easy for you may not be easy for someone else. Eat well and eat for the run you are going to do so that you get optimal results from the run, don’t skip meals, so eat carbs before a run and protein after the run.

Consistency Consistency is key to successful running, run when it’s hot or cold, when you are high or low. Small amounts of training on a regular basis is better than sporadic running followed by days of inactivity. If you run consistently you will grow stronger and stronger.

Patience Success is measured in months and years, not days and weeks, with experience you will become a wiser runner, each day you put more miles in the bank you build for the future. You need to experience important lessons so you can learn from every run that you do, no matter how far or how fast you go.

Get good shoes Your goal should be to find a shoe that offers the best support and fit for you and you should replace your shoes every 300-500 miles so note the date that you bought your shoes. Always visit a specialist running shop.

Respect the miles each person has their own limit, don’t compare yourself to others and respect the miles, whether it is 1 mile or 10 miles, respect each one and run the mile that you are in.

“My aim is to help you learn how to run, help you improve, to give you advice and show you where you may be going wrong. Running correctly enables you to run more efficiently and therefore the idea is that it becomes easier and less of a chore.