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How to Avoid Injuries And Improve Your Health - Running Tips For Beginners

Admin 16-05-2024

As soon as anybody wants to get fitter, lose some weight, and generally feel healthier, running is one of the first things that people think of.  At Relive Physiotherapy, we see a lot of Sports Injuries from people who have just started exercising, so we have put together some running tips for beginners which will reduce the risk of injury, but most of all are simple and easy to follow. 

You will always see people who are out for a run, no matter where you are and not matter when.  Next time you are out, just take a look and you will be surprised by how many people you see.

This is especially true when the days start to get longer, and runners can take advantage of the lighter nights. It so much more enjoyable to be outside when it is warm and (mostly) dry, compared to the winter days when it was dark, wet, and cold!

Whenever you start up running, there is a lot that can go wrong.  There are common injuries that we see, especially around New Year and the early part of Spring. This is the time when many people dig out their trainers and start their training.

If you do get an injury or are in pain, there are so many things that we can do for you to help you and keep you off the painkillers and avoid surgery. 

Running Tips For Beginners – Getting Started

When you decide to start running, the first goal is often 5km (3.1 miles).  This is achievable with a bit of work and an exciting goal.  It helps you get into the rhythm, get in shape and have some fun while exercising (as many new runners join groups to help them get to their first milestone). You may have heard of the ‘couch to 5k’ program which has helped many people to achieve this goal.  

Even if you have never considered yourself a runner and don’t yet, almost anyone can be ready to run a 5K by starting slowly.

It is normal to feel nervous, as even the most experienced runners get nervous before a race.  In fact, if you weren’t nervous you would definitely be in the minority!  Many new runners think they are ‘too slow’, or ‘don’t belong’, might finish last or even not at all. 

The hardest thing about running is definitely finding the motivation to lace up your shoes and start.

If you do face your fears and manage to overcome them, what a great confidence boost that would be!

Feel proud of yourself: When you cross the finish line of your very first race, it will be something that you remember for a long time.  If you improve your Personal Best, then this gives you more motivation to keep going.  But, those feelings of achievement and excitement can be very addictive, so be careful!

Pick out the right clothes and gear: Always choose the best kit for you, from the best running shoes to the right sports bra.  Also, pay attention to the weather and make sure you dress appropriately for the temperature outside.  Dressing well will help you look good and feel even better. The right gear can also help with your performance as it can either help you keep your muscles warm on the colder days or help you stay cool during the hotter ones.

Choose a training plan that motivates you: There are many overwhelming 5K training programs available. The couch to 5k app is a wonderful way to start  – it’s full of great ways to get motivated and track your progress.

Our Clients at Relive Physiotherapy often ask us how to avoid aches during the run and the stiffness that invariable comes afterwards. 

It is so important for you to warm up, irrespective of your level. Everybody needs to do it: you will see Olympic athletes doing very energetic warm ups before their events and, closer to home, people preparing for parkrun doing light stretches and gentle runs in preparation for the 9am start on a Saturday.   

You need to go from ‘cold’ to race effort and your warm up is to help you make this transition.  Your warm up should vary depending on the distance of the race and your personal race goal. 

Running Tips For Beginners – How To Avoid Injury

The shorter the race, the more complete the warm up needs to be. If your objective is to aim for a personal best, you will need to be at your own race speed right from the start. This requires a thorough warm up to prepare you to start at race pace and not slowly.

You could compare it to driving a car that has been on your driveway overnight in the Winter.  It takes about 10 minutes to warm up and if you push it too hard while it is warming up, then it could cause damage.  Your body works in exactly the same way. 

A good warm up for a 5k run would be:

15-20 minutes before the race start, take 3 minutes and walk quickly to gradually increase your heart rate and blood circulation to the working muscles. Then run 3-5 minutes at an easy pace and then walk quickly for 3-5 more minutes.

If you run-walk, alternate running for 1 minute and walking 1 minute for 6 minutes instead of running continuously.

Your body will be warm and ready to go. Enjoy and Good Luck!

Running Tips For Beginners – Strengthening Your Knee Joint

We cannot overstate how important it is that your knee muscles are strong enough to cope with the new effort that you are doing.  Nowadays, it is common thinking that ‘exercises’ or ‘painkillers’ are the answer to any kind of physical pain.  Exercises are an excellent way to end physical pain naturally, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. 

If your knee has become swollen or is painful, then the first thing you have to do is STOP exercising. If it isn’t too painful or swollen, you can take a (very) gentle walk for about 15-20 minutes on a flat surface, but don’t continue with your usual exercise routine, as you will make it worse.

If your knee joint is swollen and painful, then it is a sign that your knee is not strong enough to do what you are doing.  There is a difference between doing exercises and exercising, and it is the former that you need to do for a knee joint that hurts.

Raj’s top tips…

  1. Focus on improving the strength and control of your quad muscles (the muscles at the front of your upper leg).
  2. Ensure you have lower back muscles that are strong and hips that move freely.
  3. Wear the right footwear with enough cushioning to absorb shock (the impact every time your foot lands when you walk).

Running Tips For Beginners – Orthotics Could Help Ease Pain

Have you ever considered custom-made orthotics?  These are corrective devices that are worn inside your shoe and help the tendons, muscles and bones inside your feet and lower legs function without the suffering from pain and stiffness.  These orthotics are custom made (especially for you) from a 3-D laser scan of your foot and then made from raw materials. 

If they are custom made (as ours are) and prescribed correctly, orthotics can help decrease pain, not only in your foot, but also in other areas of your body such as your hips, knees and even lower back. 

The orthotics that you can buy in Sports Shops or from the internet are usually just plain, generic insoles that are made for everybody.  No special thought, planning or time has gone into making them and matching them up to your needs. 

Prescription foot orthotics are especially for you.

Our expert Relive Physiotherapy Physiotherapist would do a full assessment with you, using our state of the art non-contact scanner to scan your feet.  The scan would enable us to craft and create the orthotics that you would need to fit the contours of your feet. 

If you have any questions about orthotics, please feel free to give us a call on 01244 630750 or email us at  and we can chat you through the process in more detail.

Alternatively, please visit our website page to know more including a video explaining orthotics in more detail. 


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