May 07, 2014 My running tips Fitness Run through places that inspire you. I love getting outside for a run once a week. Even during winter it’s a great cardiovascular workout that not only has me sweating (helping to release any toxins), but ticking off other important health boxes including fresh air + sunshine intake, endorphin release and time for myself. If you want to start running as part of an exercise regime or you’re looking for some extra tips, my 8 are below. For the preggy Mummys, my diet + fitness regime during my pregnancy is here. 1. Step by step. Don’t feel you need to be running marathons any time soon. You can reap the delicious benefits from running by taking it nice and slow, even stopping to walk when you need. I competed in athletics for 8 years, mainly long distance events, and even I take my runs at a casual pace. So long as your heart is pumping it’s providing benefit to your overall health. A good way to judge if you’re running at an okay pace is; you should be too out of breath to have a conversation with someone. 2. Feelings. I like to run according to how I feel and on days I’m more energised I increase the pace. Your running track is a beautiful place to clear your head and invite creative juices into your body, so if you’re stuck on thinking up ideas for work, maybe get outside and hit the pavement. There has been lots of research of the positive effects running has on anxiety and depression too. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel even after a 20 minute run. 3. Form. If you’re running for the first time focus on your form – keep your shoulders down, arms relaxed and imagine yourself being pulled by a string from the top of your head. Your posture will improve and you’ll avoid any unwanted soreness in your upper body. I like to engage my core and squeeze my glutes for extra benefits! Running on the balls of your feet (avoiding the heel touching the ground) can help prevent knee injuries. I also focus on all of these things when I go for a power walk! 4. Run backwards. This is called ‘retro running’. You don’t need to do it all the way, but incorporating some backward running into your journey can be a great challenge for your body. People in Japan have actually been doing it for centuries! Forward running puts pressure on the hamstrings and knees, backward running helps strengthen your calves, quads and shins to balance your muscular strength. I find it also improves my focus as more concentration is required to stay on track! Just be careful and don’t worry about the funny looks you get. It’s all in the name of fitness.. 5. Dress to impress. When I feel good in what I’m wearing I usually get more from my run. Investing in a good pair of tights, sneakers and especially a good sports bra are essential. These are items you will continue to use, will help prevent injury and you’ll be more motivated to put them on to get out the door. Loving the metallic fabrics being used in a lot of training gear at the moment! Go for a spandex or polyester as these fabrics won’t absorb much sweat, resulting in yukky running rashes. 6. Run through happiness. I always choose to run through an environment that compliments my energy levels and makes me feel good. If I’ve had a busy day I prefer scenic tours with grass, water and dirt roads. If I’ve had more of a quiet day I don’t mind running on footpaths through the streets amongst the action of people and their conversation. Our environment has a huge physiological impact on us! 7. Press play. Listening to your favourite tunes can be incredibly helpful to your running results. It can increase motivation and distract you from feeling fatigue – hello improvement. Make a playlist with tracks that make you feel good and run to the beat. If you can plan to listen to approximately 10 tracks you know you’ve run about 30 minutes which will be a nice achievement. As motivating as music is, if I’ve had a crazy day with lots of meetings, some days I prefer to run in silence! 8. Limber up. Think of stretching like washing your dishes after you eat off them. Your muscles need to be released of any tension + lactic acid build up so spend 15-20 minutes stretching after your run. Your body is still warm so you’ll benefit from the increased blood circulation. You’ll be grateful in the morning too! Happy running, love Rach.