10 top running tips from Catherina McKiernan

European cross-country champion shares her top tips to get you running this autumn

Former world championship cross-country silver medallist and Chi running expert Catherina McKiernan will give a talk on running and keeping fit in the Ardboyne Hotel Navan, on Wednesday next, September 7th at 7 pm. The talk is part of The Irish Times Pfizer Healthy Town 2016 project and is free to attend.

You can register in advance at healthytownnavan@edelman.com or come along on the night.

Here, Catherina, who was also a European cross-country champion shares her top 10 running tips:

1. Have a goal.

Whether it is a 5km or 10km race or simply getting up to running a specific distance you’ll make things a lot easier for yourself if you have a finish line in sight.

2. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment/footwear.

Nothing more likely to cause injury or discomfort than this. There are a number of running specialty shops around so any one of these will help you to find appropriate shoes and clothes for you.

3. Try training with other people or clubs.

This can be a great way to improve your enjoyment of running, as well as acting as a way of trying to improve by testing yourself against other people. Many clubs now cater for all category of runner, from beginner to competitive.

4. Mix your running surfaces.

Too much running on one surface can lead to repetitive strain injuries so where possible vary between road/grass/trail/path/treadmill.

5. Stay well hydrated and eat plenty of carbs.

Staying hydrated and eating well around training time enables the best recovery. Other than this your diet should be sensible. It doesn’t need to be very strict but obviously the poorer it is the worse you recover and perform.

6. Try some interval/fartlek/hill training.

You’ll see much better improvements in how fast you run if you mix up your paces. If you always run at the same speed you’re just training yourself to run at that speed. You can try simple intervals like one minute hard, one minute easy to start with and make them more difficult as you get the hang of them.

7. Supplementary training.

Try to include other training such as weights, circuits or Pilates. This can be great for injury prevention and can help running itself. Try to incorporate such activities into your weekly schedule. It might be as simple as 15 minutes of Pilates and core type exercises straight after a run or a more structured programme if you have the time.

8. Feel pain? Stop!

If you have pain running and you’re unsure about why, STOP! Go see your GP or physiotherapist, find out why you have a problem and then deal with it. Many running related pains are easily dealt with, but some, if left untreated, can become chronic problems.

9. Work day running.

Try making running a part of your work day. Many people use lack of time as an excuse not to run, but it may be possible for you to run into or out of work, or to run at our lunchtime. This allows you most efficient use of your time.

10. Have fun.

Finally, enjoy your running. Every session you do doesn’t have to be better than the last one. Schedule easy runs for yourself where you don’t worry about pace and just enjoy a nice easy trot.

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