Beginners advice

I always get asked about advice and tips on starting running, dealing with injuries and how to improve as a runner so here is a page dedicated to some tips and advice from me. 

Although I am now able to complete marathons and run for long distances and times I started off right at the beginning just like everyone else. When I started running I used to run a lap around where I lived of less than 1km and it used to take 10 minutes and would leave me tired and aching for days! 

Diet

Trust in the power of a magic banana about 30 minutes before running

Drink plenty of water, I mean lots and lots of water constantly day in day out. 

Be a healthy snacker and be organised to have carrot sticks and nuts available to snack on. 

Try not to eat late at night 

Always eat breakfast, it is after all the most important meal of the day! 

Recovery: 

My two big tips for recovering from the effects of running are foam rolling and Ice baths. 

Both are incredibly simple and effective. 

Foam rolling

I have used a foam roller extensively over the past few years. Foam rolling provides multifiscal release by allowing you to massage your muscles in a way that releases the lactic acid and allows you to get deep into the muscle to help stimulate blood flow and improve the performance of the muscle. 

You can pick up a simple one like this. 

I currently have a Reebok roller the same that I used at my gym.

The fancier more complicated looking ones such as these are great as well but you don't need to spend a fortune to help your muscles recover.

Ice baths

Not the most pleasant thing in the world I grant you but since starting to have one after my longer runs I have found that they have really increased and improved my recovery.

Ice baths work on the basis of....

Don't worry you don't need a fancy specialist ice bath and masses of ice to poor in, simply running your bath full of cold water can do the trick. 

The first few seconds of getting in will be agony so be brave and brace yourself but it will be worth it in the end. 

If you have any aches and pains during your training don't be afraid to ice it. 

The basic rules of treating an injury are following the RICE principles with ice being a key factor. 

When I am training intensively I often spend an evening relaxing on the sofa with a frozen bag of peas resting on an aching muscle. 

Interval training

Interval training is the most effective way to improve your fitness and speed. 

Running more and more miles isn't the best way to get fitter as you might think. 

In the case of interval training 'less is more' e.g. running shorter times and distances in an interval format will be more beneficial to you then running extra miles or squeezing in extra training runs every week.   

My favorite interval training routines are as follows: 

Outside:

50-100m sprints, with a gentle jog back to the start and repeat x at least 5

Inside:

Treadmill interval training: 

10.0km per hour x 2 minutes
14.5km per hour x 2 minutes   and repeat 3 to 5 times

You can start out on slower speeds and build yourself up and to make it harder you can then reduce the speed of your slower recovery interval as well. For maximum impact you can also include a gradient onto the treadmill of 0.5-1.5 to make it even harder!