What you need to think about before you start running?

Obviously, what do you want to achieve?

Is it weight loss, general fitness and wellbeing or do you want to join a running club and or just enter races

From my experience Its better to find a running partner or club to start with as this keeps you motivated and once your hooked Its easy to run alone!!

However It dosn’t matter what your goal is the steps are the same.

Many people think they can’t run complaining of knee,back,and foot pain. More specifically shin splints, plantar fasciitis,metatarsalgia, Ilio  Tibial Band syndrome to name but a few.

I hear this all the time in my clinic but I happen to think differently.Within reason most  healthy people can run so long as they don’t set themselves unrealistic targets i.e don’t run 10miles the first time out. Gradually build up with a mixture of running and walking, It may take months but you must be patient.

When you have thought about the why and when you want to run visit a Podiatrist who will check your feet and explain what type of foot you have. They will carry out a bio mechanical assessment which means your gait i.e the way you walk and running action will be checked which will enable the Podiatrist to advise you on the type of running footwear you need.

There are specialist running shops around who work closely with the Podiatrist. Sometimes the advised running shoe is not sufficient on Its own to correct any bio mechanical problems and an orthotic ( insole ) is necessary. This again can be easily made by a Podiatrist.

Now you are prepared and the light nights are coming so get out there, be careful and always wear something reflective and enjoy your running.

Please find below somemore useful tips.


It is advised to consult with your Doctor prior to any training

STEP 1 Allow at leastfour weeks of training if you are starting from basic fitness (that is , being able to jog for at least 20 mins)

STEP 2 Add 5mins of running/jogging to your 20minutes in week one. In other words try to run for 25mins each time you run.

STEP 3 Continue this program over the next three weeks, adding 5mins of jogging/running per week. By this time you will be up to 40minsof continuous running. Hopefully!

STEP 4 Aim to do this program at least three days a week.The other four days can be either rest or an alternative exercise like cycling or swimming.

STEP 5 Allow your legs and lungs to catch up to each other in the begginning. I used to feel so breathless but it wears off. You use your legs everyday but your lungs probably havn’t worked so hard in years!

STEP 6 Work up to being able to do at least 4miles of continuous running before your race.This I’m sure will allow you to run another 2miles on race day.

STEP 7 Run at your own pace dont go off too quickily to keep up with the crowd.

STEP 8 Build up training steadily and add variety(eg. hill running, weight training, swimming etc).

STEP 9 Listen to your body dont push too hard too soon, you will get injured.

STEP 10 Find a natural starting point by recording your morning pulse rate. Sudden rises in your rateare signs that you are putting your body under too much stress.

STEP 11 Remember to stretch. Get into a routine and stick to it.

STEP 12 Take a break from training if you have an illness or infection- but dont be surprised if you cant start back at the same level on the first day back after the illness.

STEP 13 Break your training up and offer yourself more than constant running- you will get bored if you dont!

STEP 14 Never  run through injuries -it only makes them worse and slows down the natural healing process. If you suffer from repeated injuries see a Podiatrist, Doctor or sports  injuries specialist. Your running style might be the problem.

STEP15 Remember – it’s not the end of the world if you dont do well in a run. Go out and enjoy it and learn from the experience and come back in better shape next time.

STEP16 Please make sure you get a good pair of running trainers. See a Podiatrist first who will tell you what type for your running style you have, and then go to a specialist shop.