‘WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE!’
Every marathon starts with a mile, and even ultra athletes were beginners once…
A ll our readers – including our #Run1000Miles ambassadors – remember when they first started trail running, and no one ever got everything right first time. Here are their wise words to help you avoid their rookie mistakes
JACOB FREDERICK FITZGERALD, BRIDGE OF ALLAN, STIRLING
My biggest rookie
mistake was not strengthening weak glutes and my core.
Avoid it by… doing a mixture of body-weight lunges forwards and sideways, planks and squats. Just one or two sets of ten a week is enough to start with. Also, stretch your quads, glutes, IT band and hamstrings, and focus more on hill reps than long miles.
DARREN ONYEJEKWE PERSONAL TRAINER & CALISTHENICS COACH @BODYWEIGHT_D
My biggest rookie mistake was focusing too much on pace and not enough on form. Avoid it by… prioritising form over everything. Focus on technique, including: knee raise, cadence, foot strikes and forward lean. I’m faster now than I ever was and I use less energy as I’m more efficient with my movement. Building a solid foundation will reap benefits.
JULIA BLEASDALE ELITE ATHLETE @JULIABLEASDALE
My biggest rookie mistake was not recognising the importance of ankle and foot strength.
Avoid it by… keeping the feet supple, maintaining stability and doing regular balance exercises. Every time I step up my training I see that those boxes are ticked, to help avoid injuries.
MELISSA POULTNEY, ILLOGAN, CORNWALL
My biggest rookie
mistake was not breathing properly and getting stitches.
Avoid it by… taking more regular intakes of air to avoid subconsciously holding your breath while running. Start with breathing in for four steps and out for four steps. If you still get a stitch, squeeze the area between your thumb and fingers, and take two short, sharp breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
MELANIE-LOUISE BROWN, PORTSMOUTH, HAMPSHIRE
My biggest rookie mistake was eating too much before running.
Avoid it by… drinking only water and other non-fizzy drinks in the few hours before running. Depending on when you’re running, leave a decent time frame after your last meal before training, and avoid snacks. This ensures your body is fuelled but your stomach won’t be uncomfortably full of food.
TOBIAS MEWS ADVENTURE JOURNALIST, AUTHOR OF 50 RACES TO RUN BEFORE YOU DIE @TOBIASMEWS
My biggest rookie mistake was not wearing the right shoes – I arrived at the finish of my first trail ultra marathon covered in mud and blisters the size of golf balls.
Avoid it by… investing in a pair of trail shoes to suit the terrain you’re running on. Although I’m a big believer in less is more and light is right, decent trail shoes can help prevent you slipping over, developing blisters, cold feet, thorns through the soles and potential Achilles tendonitis.