Thursday, December 2

Running Tips from a Professional Runner


Like any sport, running requires learning and practising the basic techniques to master the sport. Whether you love to participate in races or just enjoy casual running adventures, you can benefit from improving your running technique and style for more comfortable, efficient runs. Regular running has many benefits and is shown to increase life expectancy as well as improve your life quality.

Lacing up your trainers for regular runs will make you fitter, healthier and even happier — in fact, numerous studies have shown that running significantly reduces your likelihood of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses while improving mood and heightening feelings of energy and well-being. In short, we should all be running more. After all, it’s the cheapest and easiest way to boost your health, your fitness and your mood — all you need is a bit of time and effort (and the right pair of running shoes).

Puma Deviate Nitro

Also read: 5 New Sneaker & Trainer Drops that Should Be on Your Radar

If you’re looking to improve your runs then these pro tips from Nedbank Running Club General Manager and Coach, Nick Bester can help make that effort take you further — faster.

Getting started

The best way to get started is to introduce a lot of walking into your training sessions to condition your body and avoid injuries. Run-walking is a great way to ease into running as a sport.

“I suggest increasing your mileage by 10% each week and incorporating speed sessions only after three months of conditioning training to improve your pace,” says Bester.

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Also read: How to Choose the Right Running Shoes for Your Needs

Invest in good running gear

Of course, like with any sport, you will need suitable running gear, even if you’re just starting out. First-time runners always ask the question; ‘What should I wear when I run?’ The great news is that you don’t need fancy running gear or expensive clothing to be a successful runner.

Bester believes that being comfortable is key. On a warm day, all you need is a vest, crop-top or t-shirt and shorts or tights. The most important element of your kit is your running shoes. “Invest in good-quality running shoes. Go to a running speciality store where experts can evaluate your feet and running style and recommend the right shoes for you.”

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Have a plan

The next step is to create a suitable training programme. If you want your running to improve then it is important to set goals, whether it be distance or pace, and to train progressively to meet those goals. The condition of your body, weight and fitness levels plays a major role in being able to meet your goals.

running shoes

“It is best to do base training for about two to three months, doing a maximum of two-speed sessions a week, explains Bester. “But, prioritising hill training before speed. For first-time runners, speed can be harsh on your ligaments and muscles, and should not be done excessively.”

Bester advises that some cross-training helps to burn fat, which can help accommodate your body when it’s time to do distance running. Nedbank Running Club has a wide range of training programmes for first-time runners. If you need assistance then check out this 5 km training programme, which Bester has designed, including cross-training guidance.

If you’re looking for a way to take the next step and are serious about improving your running, then consider joining a running club. With 13 locations around South Africa, the Nedbank Running Club is more than just a club. It’s a community of runners at all levels of athletic ability, and you can access the platform digitally via a free virtual series, enabling anyone to join a competitive and fun running community.

Adidas Ultraboost 21

Health and nutrition

“Your body is like a car and needs the right fuel to perform”, says Bester. He advises that a balanced diet is very important for any runner. Three food groups are key to running — protein to rebuild the muscles, fats as a source for distance and carbohydrates as an energy source for speed. Incorporating fruits and vegetables is vital and can help with weight loss, which will help with your overall running performance.

For those that are training hard, supplements can help you if a medical health practitioner approves them. Most importantly, hydration with water is key and one should drink between two and three litres of water every day.

Find the best prices on running gear online with PriceCheck now:

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