You know how we’re working with Brooks Running these days and are getting to try and review all of their amazing gear? Well, in addition to all that funness (that should so be a real word), as blog ambassadors we also get to talk to rockin’ awesome people. People like Helen Beven, an elite masters road racer who specializes in physical training for runners. We recently picked her brain for running tips for beginners, tips to help regular runners get faster and how everyone can stay just a bit more motivated to R-U-N!
Helen Beven’s Top Running Tips
For the newbie, running can seem really intimidating—and hard. What tips can you share for going from non-runner to runner? Be intentional. Set a specific time each day to run and stick to it. Most people should start with a run/walk program. Don’t worry about logging miles at this stage. Run for two minutes/walk for one and build on that. Start with 20 minutes daily. You should try and increase this by 10 percent each week. Good shoes are also essential—I always recommend Brooks.
When you’re just getting into running, what things should you focus on? When you are new to running, just try not to think about too much on form and breathing. The most important thing is to run tall (shoulders back and arms high). The breathing will fall into place.
How long should someone stick with running before declaring they’re not a fan of it? As long as nothing is hurting, then you should try and persevere as long as you can. The best thing would be to join a running club or a training program with other new runners. This is a great way to start out and enjoy the love of running.
For the regular runners out there, what tips do you have for getting faster? Speed work is essential if you want to get faster. If you can, get on the track and do some intervals and also get in a tempo run once a week.
What’s your favorite running shoe and why? My favorite running shoe at the moment is the Brooks Dyad 6—it is designed especially for people like me who have flat feet and those that need a little extra room for orthotics. It is also a great looking shoe!
Why do you run? I run as I believe I was born for running! I started when I was very young and have always loved it! Now, I run for fitness, and I love that I can share my knowledge and love of it to my clients.
What tips can you share for staying motivated? Set realistic and achievable goals. Join a running club or group. Listen to your body, and stretch well after each run.
Do you listen to tunes when you run? Why or why not? (And if you do, share a few of your faves!) I do like to run to music when I am on an easy long run, but when I am doing a tempo run or speed work on the track, then I don’t. It is important when you are running fast to listen to your breathing and focus on your technique rather than music. My favorite song on my running playlist is “Born to Run” by Bruce Springstein!
Anything else you’d like to add? Runners need to do core training. It is very important to have a strong core when you run. Planks and push-ups are essential. You should incorporate core training into your weekly training program.
Words of wisdom from a very smart chick! Helen, thank you for the running tips! Off to do some planks and push-ups now… In the meantime, tell us: why do you love to run? And at what point did it start to be enjoyable? —Jenn