In the first in a new fitness series, How to get into... , Vogue meets one of London's top trainers, Doug Tannahill. Alongside personal training credentials and a roster of A-list clients, Tannahill is a qualified osteopath. Expect real, no-nonsense advice that cuts through the Instagram filter on the fitness world.
Well, where do we begin? From a physical point of view, the benefits are numerous. Running is great for conditioning your energy systems – it will build your fitness levels, says Tannahill. You'll be bounding up escalators in no time at all. With the right balance of hill and speed training, running can be good for muscular strength and endurance, too. As for mental health? It's a well-documented stress management tool, adds Tannahill.A Love Letter To Long-Distance RunningI’ve never run before. What should my first run look like?
The great thing about running is that there is a low barrier to entry. The bad thing about running is that there is a low barrier to entry! Confused? The wonderful thing about running is that it's easily accessible to almost all of us. We don’t have to be incredible athletes to do it, it can be fun and has a multitude of health benefits, says Tannahill. The risk is that most beginners just go running with almost no preparation or thought. You don't need to spend hours preparing, but a little preparation goes a long way. If you're brand new to running, you might find a guided run, with prompts gently spoken over your headphones, a good beginning. The Nike Running app has a whole variety of guided runs, and the NHS Couch To 5k app is a classic for a reason.
Tannahill's top tips for first-time runners:Start simple! You don’t have to make it super complicated to begin with. Maybe commit to a one or two runs in a week that you can complete and have time to recover fully from in between. DONT feel like you have (and please don’t!) run a marathon in few days! But do have a goal. You are much more likely to stick to it then.Some people might find it more suitable setting them self a distance goal and others perhaps a time goal.A nice little addition is to run on a softer surface such as grass or track rather than tarmac when you start as you will dealing with some unfamiliar ground reaction forces. The softer surfaces reduce these making it kinder to your newbie runner body.I’ve tried running before but want to start again – what can I do?
The chances are there was a reason that you gave it up. Whether it was a lack time, bad weather in the winter, or other life commitments, the best way to get yourself up and running again is to remember the buzzy feeling you got that made you take it up in the first place. Make a goal that isn't weight loss, like running a 10km race or getting your 5km to a certain time, to find motivation that isn't aesthetic.The Life Lessons I Learnt From Running The London MarathonHow far should I be running, and how often?
How far you want to run, and how often, totally depends on what your goals are, says Doug. If you are looking to get fast you might benefit on setting yourself a shorter distance. For those thinking about partaking in some event further on down the line, longer distances need to be considered. Long runs are probably best completed on a weekend where you don't have tight deadlines to get back home for – it's called Sunday Runday for a reason. If you are a complete beginner, set a modest target that you feel is really achievable for you, adds Tannahill. This may be just 1km or 10mins to begin with but over time you can build this up as your body adapts. Whatever happens, you shouldn’t be increasing volume oramount by huge amounts in a short time frame.
A good simple way to manage your running volume to begin with is to total up your distance each week. Beginners and seasoned marathoners alike swear by the rule of thumb that you shouldn’t increase your volume by more than 10% each week. Ie if you ran a total of 10km one week, don’t jump to 25km the next! Runners can be plagued by overuse injuries if they don’t respect a principle known as progressive overload. That is, the body slowly adapts to the stimulus that you subject it to.
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Sorry, you have entered an invalid email. Please refresh and try again.How should I mix in running with other workouts?
The old adage of get fit to run, don't run to get fit is true. I always recommend some level of resistance training to accompany any running, explains Doug. Resistance training will help your body be able to absorb and generate the forces in running. Remember, running is essentially a series of jumps from one leg to the other, and your body needs to hold the strength to master this movement.The At-Home Exercise Bike Is Making Its Return To Your Living RoomGet a gait analysis and some advice on the best running shoes for your feet.Start small and slow. It is literally a case of slow and steady wins the race for beginners.Make small obtainable goals. This doesn’t have to be complicated nor of any magnitude, but it will give you benchmarks for your progress.If training for an event give yourself adequate time to prepare, and take it slowly. Don't enter a 10km race in your first week!Lift some weights. By building good strength levels, you will go a long way to protecting yourself from injury.Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it's from a friend who has some experience running or from a trainer, physiotherapist or osteopath, hey can help you in many different ways.