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Running for rookies

New to running? Fear not. Lace up and read on to start

By Florence Song | Published: 2 Jan 2017

Running for rookies
Running in Nike Lunar Epic Low Flyknit shoes (Photo: Nike)

I fell into running after a breakup. I'd spend evenings pounding out miles around my local park till I was so drained, sleep was the only thing I could manage. Running was therapeutic (the endorphins and toned calves were a bonus). While I couldn't control my personal life, I sure as hell could control how far and how fast I ran. Months passed along with my despair, and soon running several miles felt easier; effortless even. I now have three half marathons under my belt and am working towards my first full marathon.

That's how I started running, but if you've ever wanted to put foot to pavement, here are a few pointers you can take from Adidas ambassador and Standard Chartered KL Marathon head coach Mark Williams, and Nike running coach Sue Teoh who is also part of Malaysia's National Triathlon team. They'll help you get started, get inspired and stay on track – no heartbreak necessary. Ready? Let's go.

GEAR UP
1. Shoes
Invest in a good pair of running shoes, in the right size and fit for your foot type. Running shoes are designed specifically to provide the stability and cushioning needed to protect your body from the impact of running.

2. Clothes
Wear light, breathable tops that wick sweat away from your skin, and a proper sports bra for support. Avoid cotton fabrics that get damp and heavy with sweat (they're a breeding ground for bacteria; read: backne).

3. The extras
Wear sunscreen (at least SPF30) if you're running during the day and a sports watch to track your pace.

PRE-RUN
1. Warm up
Do some light aerobic exercises, brisk walking or slow jogging to loosen up muscles and raise your heart rate before your run. If you're in a gym, cycle on a stationary bike.

2. Eat something light
Eat simple whole foods that are easily digestible: eggs, fruit or nuts and seeds.

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Bring a water bottle or plan a route where you know there'll be water fountains or shops.

2. Run for time, not distance
Focus on increasing the time you spend on your feet rather than the miles logged to improve endurance.

3. Don't start out racing
Jog slowly and gradually build up speed. If you are a beginner, do a combination of walking and running.

4. Avoid drastic increases in time
If you ran a total of 30 minutes last week, don't increase this by more than ten minutes the following week.

5. Chose a good route
Avoid running on concrete ground as the impact of your foot strike will return up your body and lead to injury.

6. Be aware of your surroundings
Don't wear headphones or listen to loud music if running near traffic.

POST-RUN
1. Eat something within 30 minutes of exercising
It's important to replenish your energy as soon as possible, especially after a long run, to aid muscle recovery and minimise soreness. Nutrition bars, a bagel with peanut butter or a fruit and yoghurt smoothie are healthy options. Chocolate milk is also a great recovery drink.

2. Set a goal to achieve but be patient
Don't be in a hurry to enter races. Wait until you can run at least 30 minutes without resting before lining up for that first 5km fun run.

Who run the world? You do. In these brand new, eye-catching kicks.

Clockwise from top: Skechers GOmeb Strada 2 running shoes, RM499; Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit running shoes, RM649; Saucony Zealot ISO 2 running shoes, RM499; Under Armour Charged Bandit 2 women's running shoes, RM599; Adidas PureBOOST X women's running shoes, RM419.

Photo: Adidas; Skechers; Nike; Saucony; Under Armour

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