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There are tons of running tips and advice out there for new runners (like myself) and also experienced runners. My advice is to make sure that you use it. Use what makes sense to you, stick with it but keep asking for advice in order to change it. Change is as good as a rest, they say.  One of the reasons that athletes do so well when they change coaches is because of the change rather than because of that particular coach. A recent class that I attended called ‘How to be creative’ taught me that walking, running or doing any kind of physical movement stimulates the right side of the brain. This is the creative side of the brain. Running and by constantly changing your training programme helps keep the creative side of you, well creative. This helps to keep you motivated and compliant with your training schedule.

From my education on the human body, there is output and there is input in terms of energy. When we work, eat, stress and exercise this is classed as output. When we sleep, rest, relax and get treatment this is classed as input. In order to reduce the risk of injury we must increase our input as our output increases. Input can also come from exercise, for example having a recovery session where you do not do a hard or long run but you do a short and easy run. I do these when I have had a cold or a slight niggle and had to rest for a while. My first run would be less than 20 minutes, your recovery run may be 40 minutes plus. There is another reason for this recovery run, it reassures the brain that there is no danger and no risk of injury. The brain therefore does not send painful signals to your calves, buttocks etc.

I get treatment from my osteopathy, physiotherapy and sports therapy colleagues about once a week (I’m lucky) to help my shock absorbers keep on absorbing shock. We have them all over our bodies, for example, in the foot called the subtalar joint. The buttocks are a major shock absorber, it is important to keep them stretched and relaxed. Stiff joints or tense muscles lose the ability to absorb shock causing pain and discomfort and potential injury. I would advise that you get on board with your physio, osteopath or sports therapist and keep all the individual body parts moving.

Enjoy running this winter!