If becoming a better runner is in your goal list for 2020, we’ve got some top tips and professional advice for you to sink your teeth into. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or you’re just starting, our tips cover running technique, your mindset and, of course, why it’s important to choose the correct running shoe.

On your marks, get set, go!

How to improve your running technique

The best way to improve your running technique is by practising. Getting your running gear on and going for a run will help you get to grips with how your body reacts as you run. When you next go for a run, take a mental note of how your body feels – are your calves aching, or are your shins sore? 

Shin splints are a common running injury – mainly for beginners, but they can affect runners returning to the exercise after a break. Healthline suggests the best way to ease the symptoms of shin splints is to practice RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

If you’re aiming to get faster or run further, fitness magazine, Shape, advises you should take an interval approach to your training. Splitting your workout up into run and walk segments can help you focus on pushing yourself faster or further while also allowing your body to rest in your walking breaks. Don’t push too hard too soon, know your limits and listen to your body.

If getting blisters is preventing you from enjoying your run, check out our blister prevention pads. They stick to your shoe – not your foot! Find out how it all works here.

How to get into the running mindset

Sometimes, just mustering up the will power to take yourself out on a run can be difficult and to keep up momentum and energy when you’re running, can be a considerable barrier, too. To conquer mental blocks such as these, it can be helpful to break your run up into smaller, manageable segments. 

Suddenly your run doesn’t seem as colossal as you first thought and getting from point A to point B becomes achievable and even enjoyable. 

Other tips on overcoming the mental block:

  • Accept that it isn’t going to be easy, prepare yourself for the tough days
  • Get yourself a mantra – keep saying to yourself when you feel like you want to give up
  • Work towards measurable goals – whether it’s to complete your first 5k race or to feel and look fitter for a holiday – always keep focused on your fitness or physical goals
  • Using running apps can help keep you motivated, too – check out these workout apps for women who hate the gym.

The importance of a good running shoe

Getting the wrong running shoe can make or break your run. Our PelliTec Podiatrist, Michael McColgan,

explains why it’s so important you get the right fit:

“It’s important to select sport-specific footwear, after all, you wouldn’t play cricket in swimming shorts! If your footwear choice is wrong, then you’re on to a loser as far as getting the most out of your fitness regime. 

If your shoes don’t fit correctly, you’re going to be on the receiving end of some severe friction resulting in blisters – at the very least – as the foot moves against the inside of the shoe. Mechanically unstable feet require more control to limit the influence on the knee, and hip position whereas the more rigid high arched foot requires more shock absorption at heel strike to reduce the force at the ankle knee and hip. 

It’s essential to increase the running distance slowly, and it’s useful to keep a diary of distance and time spent running. It’s always important to stretch the following exercise. 

If you develop symptoms which are slow to settle down, then a podiatry or physio assessment may be useful to help with advice on rehabilitation and gait retraining to help keep you on track.”

You must take care of your feet when doing any physical exercise, particularly when running. Our blister prevention pads can stick inside your shoes and can heal and help prevent blisters from ruining your running regime. Read more about how they work here.