Thinking of going for it? Great! Here are some helpful tips from the Pro Direct Running team...
Getting the right shoes
A runner's most important equipment is definitely their shoes! Your running shoe needs to fit comfortably and also offer good cushioning for your feet. It is very helpful for you to discover your running style early on to see whether you pronate or supinate, you can then select a shoe with the motion control characteristics that are tailored to you. You might try looking at your wet footprint on the bathroom floor or even painting the sole of your foot with kids paint to get a print! Your footprint will help you determine the right type of running shoes for you.
Don't make the mistake of being in too much of a hurry. It is far more beneficial to improve gradually and slowly. Do not do an increase in speed training and distance running at the same time. You will not completely improve in one area, but rather it will leave you frustrated and exhausted.
Watch how you run
Correct movements are the key to safe and fast running. Work on your running technique. Avoid running "on the place" jumping up and down, instead try to go forward. Make sure your feet do not hit the ground flat, slapping the course. Use the swing of your arms to help you go forward.
Running against the wind
Be aware of how windy weather can affect your running. Slow down when running in a strong wind. You are spending six percent more oxygen than in ordinary conditions. Running slower while against the wind will give you the same benefits as when you run fast during normal conditions. When you begin your work out, try to run against the wind, so that during your return you have the wind to your back and are not fighting to run against it when you are more tired.
Kids should just run for fun
Training heavy or being great at running in young age does not necessarily mean success as an adult runner. Running for kids has to be fun: the risk is lack of interest and injuries. Saying no to long races, no to high intensity training is the best policy. While children aged 12 and younger should not specialize in distances up to one mile, teenagers should not compete in races above 10k.
Minimize the inflammation
If possible try to avoid the added pain caused by swelling once you experience an injury. Always keep an elastic sports bandage in your workout bag just in case you become injured. By wrapping the bandage around the injured area immediately you will minimize the inflammation.
Whilst colds cannot really be avoided, you can improve your resistance to them by eating garlic, Brazil nuts, vitamin C rich foods and eating a pot of yoghurt a day that boosts levels of positive bacteria. It is also recommended that you get sufficient sleep (by losing three hours sleep you can halve your immune response level).
Sports nutrition can play a positive role in performance and training recovery. It is important to drink enough fluids to keep the body hydrated, but also for refuelling before, during and after exercise. It is important to drink isotonic and carbohydrate drinks within one hour of exercise to speed recovery from exhaustive exercise. During the summer a drink within half an hour of exercise is more appropriate. The low dilution of isotonic drinks means the fluid is absorbed more efficiently through the gut.
Exercise Induced Asthma
Asthma occurs where the lungs and small airways to the lungs become narrow. Asthma can be caused by cold weather, allergies and exercise, as the airways contract mucus builds up and they can become inflamed causing a restriction to breathing. Asthma can be treated and levels of severity can be measured by a Spirometry test carried out by your Doctor. Salbutamol is the favoured drug for effective short-term relief and there are also, non-drug, based remedies on the market.
Aerobic Exercise (with O2) and body conditioning resistance training are excellent forms of calorie burners and achieve different fitness results. Aerobic exercise burns off fat as an energy source, whereas body conditioning or toning exercise strengthens muscles, but can increase the metabolism afterwards. To achieve an ideal level of Health Related Fitness you need to combine the two different types of exercise. Every gram of alcohol contains 7 calories so a reduction in alcohol can lead to weight loss.
Good luck - dorunning