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How to hack running if you are a beginner 

Ben Lucas - Founder of Flow Athletic

How to hack running if you are a beginner

The world is back to (almost) normal which is so exciting for fun run enthusiasts and those looking to set themselves a new challenge. Whether you are a runner or not, fun runs are such a fun day out regardless of whether you are looking to get a good time or just participate for run.

Here are some tips on how to hack running if you are a beginner.

Mix up your training

While it would make sense to just go for heaps of runs to help you prepare for your fun run, there are a few things you should consider.

1- You will likely need to dodge people and run past them if they are in your way and are running slower than you. You may also want to sprint to the finish line to get a better finish. Therefore you should practise some sprint training to prepare for the times when you will need to pick up the pace.

I would recommend doing that in two ways. The first is have a sprint training day where you do 10 x 100m sprints with a rest in between for one of your training sessions. The second is to have a "speed play" day where you run fast for a bit, and then slow back down to a jog. For example, you may sprint 200 metres and jog 200metres over 3-5km in your speed play session.

2- Consider the elements. Are there hills on the track? Will you be running through sand or dirt? If so, make sure you do some training on a similar surface so your muscles don’t freak out when they have to run on that terrain

3- When you run, you are on one leg at a time. Therefore it is a good idea to do some running specific strength training to help strengthen up the muscles needed to take you to the end of the race. You will want to work both legs separately to save your stronger leg overcompensating for the weaker leg as they often do. For example a 1 x leg TRX squat, walking lunges or 1 x leg deadlifts work well. You also want to work on your core and postural muscles as running with poor posture will likely lead to some aches and pains

Start on a flat course

A good way to hack running if you are a beginner, or if you just want a good time, is to start on a flat, fast course. The Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K and 5K event on July 24 is set on a flat course around the city. You can choose the 5K or the 10K distance and enjoy the view. This year they have partnered with the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF), who are the sole charity partner for the event this year. Their ambassadors Pia Miranda and Janine Allis will be participating on the day too.

Make sure you recover

Don’t go overboard and exhaust yourself. Whatever you take from your body you need to give back to it. Make sure you take 1-2 rest days from training each week. Eat foods that are high in protein and antioxidants to help your body repair and recover, use a foam roller or get a massage if you need one. Lots of people make the mistake of setting themselves a challange and then going hard on the prep, but they end up getting sick or injured because they are not maintaining balance. Balance is very important.

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Additionally, make sure you taper off your training the week before. Still do some running or brisk walking to keep your muscles limber, but if you train too hard in the days leading to the event you may be too sore and stiff to perform well.

Prepare the night before

There are a few key things that you should do the night before to prepare.

1- Don’t mess with your diet. Adding new things to your diet the night before may lead to an upset stomach the next morning. Make sure you are not eating unusual food the night before a fun run because if you are new to running you may have some “butterflies” so stick to what you know

2- Get your gear ready the night before. Have your outfit laid out and your shoes ready to go. Pack as light as you can as there is usually no where to put your bags at an event

3- Don’t wear new clothes or shoes. Make sure you wear something that has been worn in as you don’t want to get blisters or discover that your outfit is uncomfortable as you are running

4- Wake up early enough so you can eat something light 30 minutes before you leave home. While there are bathrooms on site at events, you don’t really want to need to stop mid run.

Happy running!!

The SH10KM have just released a free 5KM training plan. Download it here


Pia Miranda and Janine Allis have also just been announced as ambassadors for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, who are the sole charity partner for this year's Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K and 5K . Having seen the impact of cancer on family and friends, they're committed to turning their passion for fitness into life-saving steps. They will be participating this year at the event.

Janine is an international businesswoman, author, and speaker, best known for founding the highly successful business, Boost Juice. Pia is a world-renowned actor and media star, loved for her iconic role in the 2000 feature film “Looking for Alibrandi” and winner of 2019’s Survivor. Both Janine and Pia have been seen the impact of cancer, making this event and ACRF’s cause one very close to their hearts.


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