Running Tips

Note: I have been running since 2016. I accumulated a total of  5,293.6 km. Most of my training is on road by circumstance, while my long runs are done in trail.

Below are some tips I wish I had received when I started. These don’t follow any particular order:

  1. Learn about Heel-to-Toe drop.
    1. Heel-to-Toe Drop: What is It and What to Look For in Running Shoes - The Wired Runner
  2. Have more than one pair of running shoes with different drops. I have one with zero drop, used once or twice a week at most for the shorter runs. One with 10mm with a decent amount of cushioning for the slower runs. Finally something between 4-8mm as my go-to shoe. I keep rotating them depending on the session I have.
  3. Learn about heel and forefront striking.
    1. Running Barefoot: Biomechanics of Foot Strike
  4. Running on its own is not enough, if you want to prevent injuries and perform. A complete plan will include gym and stretching sessions. You can do strength training at home for free and avoid a monthly gym membership. I currently use two kettlebells (10kg and 20kg).
  5. Even if the mileage is modest, consistency is more important than doing a single long run every couple of weeks. Try to stick to at least two or three runs per week.
  6. Learn about the different types of run: hill, tempo, fartlek, intervals, long, recovery and slow. Your training plan should have a mix of these.
    1. Running 101: The 8 Basic Types of Runs – PodiumRunner
  7. Be disciplined about the type of run you are doing. If you are doing a slow run, be slow. Control the urge to go fast. The same is true for your interval and tempo runs. If you have to be fast, be so on those sessions.
    1. The bulk of your training (~80%) should be at a comfortable pace.
    2. A single speed session per week is enough.
  8. Your training should be focused on two things: HR and time. For example a typical training of mine is 50 minutes at an average of 148bpm.
  9. Learn about lactate threshold. If you can afford it, do a test.
    1. What is Lactate and Lactate Threshold | TrainingPeaks
  10. Learn what foods work for you. No matter how much you read online, people will behave differently. Testing different foods takes a considerable amount of time. Be patient. Test both what to eat before a race and what to eat during the race. Different distances will demand different strategies.
  11. Don’t test new shoes in a race. It’s not worth the risk.
  12. Running can be boring. Join a club, or find someone that runs. There are many groups online that organise regular running events.
  13. If you are serious about running and can afford it, get a personal coach. A good coach will help you get better physically, but also mentally.
  14. Use something like when looking for new shoes and discounts.
  15. Get comfortable treating blisters.
    1. Blister Treatment | How to Get Rid of a Blister
  16. A trail marathon is a completely different sport compared to a road marathon. Depending on multiple factors, it can take as much as double the time it would take you on road. Most hills will be done walking (or power walking). Downhill segments can be very technical, which doesn’t help compensating the time you lost while climbing.
  17. Use the Elevate extension for your fitness and stress analysis.
  18. Socks are a tricky affair and getting use to ones can take time.
    1. I use Rockay and Hilly
  19. Poles can be useful for climbing. But like everything, it takes time to get used to it. Don’t use poles for racing if you haven’t trained with them.
  20. Get a foam roller and get into the habit of using it regularly.
  21. The difference between muscle soreness (DOMS) and injury sometimes is not obvious. Listen to your body and seek medical advice/help if you are unsure.
  22. From my experience wrist HR is not reliable enough. If you can afford, use an HR chest strap.
    1. Apple Watch’s wrist HR has proven to be a reliable device.