We are well into the running season now (even thought some are all year round). There seems to be a lot more 10k races and duathalons popping up.

While Running is not my specialty, I thought I would share a few tips I have picked up from professionals in the industry.

Where you run

A lot of people, especially beginners start running on the treadmill. While this is great and the exercise is beneficial, it is a far different experience than that of running on the road. The hard conditions of the road surface put a lot more impact and stress on the joints. It takes a lot of getting used to.

My advice: get out on the road and start building up the miles. Your body will get used to it.

How you run

Now this won't be the easiest thing in the world for a lot of people to do. I recently only started to change my self. And that is "how your foot strikes the road". For the majority of people out there their heel strikes first as they run. This puts a lot more pressure up through the bones and joints and leads to more injuries such as "shin splints" (although they may occur regardless).

My advice: start training yourself to mid-strike the foot as you run i.e. on the ball of the foot. This gives more cushion on the joints etc.
Be ware though, your calves will be on fire while trying this but you will get used to it!

This brings me onto the new craze that's hitting the nation "bare-foot" exercising:

Now, true barefoot exercising is not recommended, even on the grass because you never know what little rock could be waiting for you. Introducing, Vibrams FiveFinger running shoes.

All of my Physiotherpist buddies are recommending these shoes, for their postural benefits and injury prevention abilities. In simple terms, they are gloves for your feet. They are getting great coverage and great reviews. They have a rubber sole much flatter than that of an ordinary runner but the special compounds in their production mean the average Vibram lasts about 9,000 or 10,000 miles compared to the average runner which is far less.

I got a pair myself for exercising in the gym and i can feel the benefit. My feet are getting stonger and there is a better base of support now. They look bizarre but in a few months it will be more bizarre NOT to have a pair. (i'm not getting anything for endorsing them haha) but an ultra athlete friend of mine got himself a pair lately too and I quote him "the best things I ever put on my feet, i can't remember ever running so fast"

Try them out for yourself, you wont be disappointed.

As for your diet, take on a little extra carbs to replenish the muscle glycogen but stay healthy, See the post on the top 15 foods to eat.

Until next time

Micheál