How to get into running…and enjoy it!

Find your stride and achieve your running goals.

Whether you are new to running and don’t know how to get going or have been doing it for a while but just can’t quite get into it properly, former Comrades Marathon winner, multidiscipline athlete and Nedbank Running Club general manager and coach, Nick Bester is here to help! Try out his tips on how to get started and maintain momentum:

Start slowly

You want to condition your body and avoid injuries, so ease yourself into running by introducing a lot of walking into your training sessions. Increase your mileage by about 10% each week and start incorporating speed sessions only after three months of conditioning training to improve your pace.

Get the right gear

On a warm day, all you need is a vest, crop-top or t-shirt and shorts or tights. The really important element is your running shoes. You don’t want to go cheap here. Invest in good-quality running shoes. Go to a running specialty store where experts can evaluate your feet and running style and recommend the right shoes for you.

Set up a training programme

It is best to do base training for about two to three months with a maximum of two speed sessions a week, as you want to prioritize hill training before speed, especially if you are starting out as speed can take strain on your ligaments and muscles. Cross training sessions are also a good idea to burn fat, which can help accommodate your body when it’s time to do distance running.

Fuel your body

A balanced diet is very important for any runner and should consist of three food groups – 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. Staying hydrated with water is crucial and you want to aim to drink between two to three litres of water every day.

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