Picture: Hannah Kirkman, senior coach South West of England.

The main thing I’ve learned over my years as a runner and a coach is that running doesn’t always have to be hard work! Check out some top tips from three of our top instructors.

Emer O’Brien teaches ChiRunning and Pilates in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland and quite rightly highlights the fact that running should be fun in her top tips!

  • Take the pressure off your legs by focusing on lengthening the spine and reaching the crown of your head for the sky.
  • Focus on building up the distance at an easy pace, pace is not your priority at this stage, running continuously is your first goal.
  • Gradual progress is key, don’t overthink it, breath, relax and run
  • Your priority is to stay injury-free so increase the distance gradually
  • Remember to have fun! 

Hannah Kirkman is our senior coach in the South West of England. Hannah is a highly-experienced runner and coach and is also a specialist personal trainer and restorative exercise specialist. 

  • Going straight from 0-60 and 60-0 is hard on the body and mind. Always invest time in warming up and cooling down
  • Think of your rest days as an important part of your training – it’s when the magic happens

Hannah also wrote an excellent blog post on a similar theme http://blueskyrunning.co.uk/6-things-beginning-running

Nick Constantine is our senior coach in the North West of England and Scotland. He also hosts regular retreats across Europe. Nick has been an avid yogi for over 20 years and also teaches yoga alongside ChiRunning which is an excellent combination. Here’s Nick’s sage advice:

  • Focus on rhythm not speed. Use the tips of your elbows as timers. Tap the 180 beat with the elbows. Keep your focus away from tapping out the beat with your feet. Concentrate on running over not on the ground. 
  • Practice balancing on one leg, there are lots of variations from pistol squat to yoga asana but just balance on one leg. Note the differences between each side. Remember running is a balancing act. 
  • Hum your favourite tune! If you can hum you are breathing just fine.
  • ‘Spend time on my feet’ was the best advice I received from a very good female marathon runner. Many runners drive, sit etc and then only move when running. If you want to complete a marathon in 4 hours try walking for 4 hours. How do you feel? 

Lots of great advice there. Pick one or two ideas at a time to take out on a run with you and let us know how you get on. 

Remember that running with the right mindset an eye on good technique offers numerous health benefits, both a physically and mentally.

Keep smiling!

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