5 Ways to Improve your Run

I’ve never been much of a runner, and to be honest, I’ve never really been into keeping fit and healthy until relativity recently. I embarked on my fitness journey about two years ago, when I joined the rowing club at university – and I only really joined it so I could get drunk every Wednesday with a sports team.  Since moving back to London keeping up with rowing has been impossible as a) the sport is ridiculously expensive, and b) I live no where near any rowing clubs.

So instead I’ve turned my attention to running and signed myself up to to Run the River in October – it’s a 10k course around The Lea Valley. My best 5k is around 27 minutes, but I’ve never pushed myself to run any longer than that – so this is going to be a challenge for me. I’ll be doing it with my sister so our competitive nature is bound to come out.

In the past whenever I seen to run I always get shin splints, and it’s definitely the pain (and fear of the pain) that’s put me off running in the past. Thankfully – with the help of this up coming race and a whole lot of positive energy and good advice, my mind and legs are back in the game. I’ve started to notice what makes a different between good and bad runs, so I thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way.

Fuel up

I’m not someone who functions on an empty stomach, and you’ll need something to fuel your legs before a long run. Even if it’s just a handful of nuts, try and get something in at least half an hour before you run. I usually have a banana or some almonds.

Lace up 

This is the advice anyone gives you when you first start running, and something I didn’t listen to and seriously regret it. Get yourself some decent trainers and get your gait tested. Trainers which fit you properly are so worth investing in and will prevent injury.

Listen to a good playlist

I can’t run without listening to a playlist and the idea of running without my headphones mortifies me. At the moment I’m listening to ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’ and it’s ridiculously funny, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve gotten a stitch whilst running because I’ve been laughing too much.

Take your phone out of your sports bra 

The amount of times I’ve trained with my phone tucked into my sports bra is shameful. It restricts your movement and makes breathing more of a struggle too (not to mention it risks sweat damage to you phone – I’ve actually broken an iPhone this way). Invest in an arm strap and make sure it fits.

Stretch 

I can’t stress it this one enough – if you don’t stretch you’re body is going to hate you. This is something I need to get better at and the whole reason I’ve been suffering with my shins. Stretch 5 minutes before your run, and for 5 minutes after – you’ll thank me for it.

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