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The following is a list of sensible precautions that should be considered before embarking on a run. Pretty much common sense, but please take a moment to read through:


* Never run if a medical professional has advised you not to or if you are injured or feel at all unwell.


* Always make sure that you are wearing appropriate footwear and clothing – if you’re heading off on a long run be prepared for a change in weather conditions and take something warm and waterproof if there is a chance that you’ll need it.


* Check the weather forecast before you set off.


* Plan ahead – make sure that someone knows where you are going and an estimated time of your return. Take your mobile phone with you in case of an emergency.


* Be extra vigilant in built up areas and when crossing roads – avoid the use of iPods and earphones so that you are aware of what’s going on around you.


* Be vigilant if you’re running on your own in remote areas – again – make sure that someone knows your route and estimated time of return.


* When running in the dark or gloomy weather ensure that you are wearing light clothing and something of a reflective nature.


* Make sure that you are well hydrated before a run. If you are likely to be out for some time take some fluid with you.


* Adequate nutrition is vital when embarking on any form of exercise. Ideally eat some form of carbohydrate a couple of hours before you run – porridge and a banana are ideal. If you’re planning a long run take some form of nutrition along with you, ie; sports gels/drinks, dextrose tablets/jelly babies.


*Warm up properly before a run by walking or doing some dynamic warm up exercises for 10 minutes or so. Cool down and lower your heart rate after a run by running slowly or walking. The duration of your cool down should correspond to the duration of your run. ie; the longer your run the longer your cool down should be.


* After a run stretch and hold each stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds in order to restore your muscles to their pre-run state.


* Re-hydrate after a run and eat some form of protein within 20 minutes to aid muscular repair.


* There is evidence to suggest that an ice bath (just run the coldest bath you can!) aids the flushing out of lactic acid from the muscles. Submerge your lower limbs for 10 minutes if you can stand it!


* If you're heading out to remote areas take a plastic whistle with you. In an emergency blow 6 times, wait a short while and repeat. This is the international distress signal. A reply of 3 whistle blows is good news - someone's heard you! Keep repeating the 6 whistle blows until help arrives.


* Finally – if you suspect that you may have sustained an injury, seek professional advice as soon as possible.


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