By John Henwood, Founder of TheRUN
Whether you’re a first-time runner or you’ve got multiple marathons in the bag, TheRUN is the place for you. This boutique running studio in the Flatiron District of NYC has some of the most technologically-savvy treadmills around, automated for each class and also personalized to your individual progress — which means no speeds or inclines to adjust mid-workout, thanks to Technogym. Even better, you can track your progress online after each class. So of course the founder of TheRUN, John Henwood, is a world-renowned, Olympic long distance runner — it’s clear he knows what he’s doing! With classes at TheRUN spanning from beginner 5K classes all the way up to two-hour endurance training, John gives his 10 tips to get anyone running (again).
1) Buy a new pair of running shoes
If they are a new shoe brand or model than you are used to, make sure you purchase them where someone can do a video analysis of your running and your foot landing. You want to see if you need a more supportive shoe, or if you are okay with a neutral shoe.
2) Ease back into it slowly, and focus on going further, not faster
Too many runners make the mistake of doing too much too soon. It will just make you sore, and miss upcoming workouts. Allow for the body to recover, and to push on its own clock.
3) Stay motivated
Run on different courses for different scenery, and maybe run with music if not running in traffic. Set yourself weekly training goals to achieve. Find a training partner.
4) If you miss a run, don't try to make it up
You don't want to be fitting in all your running at the end of the week because you missed a run or two runs. That will increase your chances of getting an injury and just being sore in general.
5) Cross-training and weight training are important
Do some cross-training (swimming, elliptical, stairmaster, spinning) or weight training between some of your running days. It will make you a fitter and stronger runner, and decrease your chance of getting an injury.
6) Practice dynamic stretching and static stretching pre- and post-run
After a light jog, doing some dynamic stretches, such as leg swings before your run is ideal. After you finish your run, spend 10 minutes doing some static stretches. This will enhance your recovery for the next day’s training, and make you feel less tight and sore.
7) The foam roller is your friend
Use the foam roller for 2 minutes on each leg, every day or every two days. You can use it anytime, but it is ideal before and/or after a run. It's a form of self-massage used to release tightness of the muscles.
8) Purchase the right clothing for the weather conditions
I find the more expensive running clothing is worth its weight in gold when you're running in cold or hot conditions. Don't skimp here, if you can avoid it.
9) Add in running on hills
Add hills into your runs 2-3 times per week. If you run 2 or more hills in these runs, even better. You will quickly improve into a dynamite runner when you can conquer the hills!
10) Take your fluids on the run
If running in hotter conditions, take 3-4 ounces of an electrolyte drink every 30 minutes on your run. If running in these hot conditions without any cover of trees or other shade, wear a cap and with an iced towel under your cap to keep your head cool.
John Henwood is a world-class athlete and coach. John competed for New Zealand in the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 10,000m's on the track, with a best time of 27mins, 45sec; he placed 13th at the 2005 New York Marathon, with the time of 2hr, 15min, 05secs; and was New York Road Runner of the Year in his age group for 8 out of the last 10 years. John founded Henwoods Hounds Racing Team, is teenage sensation Mary Cain’s New York coach, and coached two trialists in the last Olympic trials. John originates from New Zealand, and has been residing in New York for the last 10 years.