1. Set it as a goal now! The run takes place in May each year, and here’s how long you’ll want to get ready
– not currently running, allow a year
– able to run 2k, allow 10 months
– able to complete a 5k run (just), allow 6 months
– regularly running 5k, allow a month or two
2. If time allows (ie over one month to go), then start by losing weight. Try a cleanse programme – as it sets you up for successful weight loss over time. Don’t try a dramatic weight loss programme, you’ll only lose water and muscle and you need both to run.
Remember, best weight loss is through a combination of better diet and exercise
– I tried this and if planned in advance can really help your body get rid of toxins and waste which makes high levels of exercise so much easier. It felt a bit like floating rather than running.
3. Measure inches! As you get fitter, you’ll build lean muscle – which weighs more than fat. So, check your belt notches, don’t worry to much about the scales.
– I’ve loss inches but lost weight and then gained some again. The inches stayed off, so I’m hoping that is lean muscle!
4. Buy a decent set of running shoes that fit your feet. Get help on this as the wrong shoes will ruin your feet. Be prepared to pay between £50 and £100.
5. Look after your joints and immune system. Running on hard ground (roads) is going to hammer your knees. On an average day, you can expend up to 15% of the sinovial fluids that support the cartilage around the knee and hip joints.
– most people wait until they feel pain or get run down before they doing anything, but don’t wait! Make sure you are on a high quality source of MSM and Condroitin, especially if you are over 40 years old (once past 40, the body doesn’t generate cartilage as efficiently). Equally, supplement your diet with a high quality multi-vitamin that includes the key trace elements missing from most modern food sources.
– this is what I use – but each person needs to find what works for them. Give me a shout if you need any advice.
6. Start to run times not distances. The aim is to ‘keep going – at any pace’ for as long as possible. So,
- – if still on the couch, can you run for 30 seconds?
- – if you are active, can you run for 2 minutes?
- – if you are starting running, can you run for 10 or 15 minutes?
- – can you push that to 25 or 30 minutes? (You’ll now be reaching around the 5k distance)
- – can you push that time to 40 minutes, then an hour (You’ll be reaching around the time for an average 10k run)
7. Once you are running good time lengths, only then think about speed and times. Can you run shorter distances faster? Can you break a 6k run into three 2k sprints?
8. Check and check again your diet and your nutrition! In particularly, how is your circulation? Don’t run above your body’s maximum working heart rate. You can get help by either using a heart rate monitor, taking a supplement to improve blood flow such as Argi+ or simply making sure that the run stays comfortable at all times (ie. you don’t over heat).
– I use this and find it really increases both times and distance whilst also providing a quicker recovery
9. Eat lots of carbohydrates the day before the race. For breakfast, eat a banana and / or piece of brown toast with honey for breakfast. A great source of short term energy is bee pollen too. Take on lots of water 2 or 3 hours before the race and top up with liquids up to 30 minutes before the start.
10. Cut your toes nails! Nothing worse that running with a sore toe nail.
– I’ve done this once and it really hurts!
11. Find someone to share it with – find a running partner to run with or just share your runs on facebook with other friends or a running group of facebook such as this one.
12. Track your runs with an app such as Map My Run – there is nothing like the voice telling you your time each kilometre to help you keep pushing on and encouraging you.
13. Stretch before and after. Stretching and warming up is important as it will reduce the production of lactic acid (which is a waste product your body needs to get rid of) and also reduce the risk of injury. It is important to keep moving at the end of the race too to make sure you don’t put your heart under too much pressure either.
– different people do different exercises, but the key is to do some – before and after.
14. Eat fruit! At the end of a run, your body will be short on glucose and a sweet apple will taste delicious! So, skip the glucose drinks and go for the real thing!
– personally, I found jelly babies too sweet / artificially sweet and carry a small pouch of juice which I use at the end of a run.
15. Find a toilet! Having drunk lots of fluids before the run, you’ll want to know where the toilets are so you can get in the queue early.