Walking or Running 5 or 10k

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So you’re planning or walking or running a 5 or 10K or that’s the plan, or maybe you’ve not booked up just yet – did you see those guys doing the London Marathon?
But of course it’s all the training you have to do to get to be able to run (or walk some of the way) a marathon not the actual marathon itself that usually causes the worries we see and help people with every day.

Everyone’s out running in the parks, walking on busy roads, around your estate. Beginner and seasoned walkers and runners are dusting off their shoes and logging some miles with the great stretch in the evenings.

With the great weather over the Easter break there should be no excuses.

Today, I’ll share my best tips – hopefully, you can avoid some of common mistakes that we see with the 100’s of people we help every month

​who come to us wanting to stay active and mobile.​

Have a Plan

A 10k Mini Marathon isn’t something you can tackle on the fly. You need a training program, potential training partners and perhaps a cheering section.

What are the benefits of a training group? You have camaraderie as well as accountability, along with people with experience. Sometimes, a long run can be a little lonely. The time goes by much faster when you have someone chatting it up beside you.

Wear the Right Shoes

Your most important pieces of your running wardrobe belong on your feet. Don’t just bust buy shoes in Dunnes because they’re cute.

Instead, get fitted, and try the shoes out. Don’t forget to upgrade your socks, too.
Finding the right running shoe is important for your feet. Here are some buying tips:

  1. Be prepared to spend at least 20 minutes at the store. You want to give yourself plenty of time to try on a variety of styles, models and sizes. The best time to shop fors hoes is at the end of the day or after a run. That’s when your feet have swelled to their maximum size.
  2. Get your feet measured (length and width) by knowledgeable store personnel. Even if you know your size, have both feet measured. If the sizes differ, fit the larger foot.
  3. Sizes vary among brands. Judge a shoe by how it fits your foot, not by its listed size or by what you think your shoe size is.
  4. Wear the socks you expect to run in. If you wear orthotics, put them in the shoes you’re considering.
  5. Stand during the fitting process. There should be about a half-inch (the approximate width of a thumbnail) between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
  6. Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest part of the shoe. The heel should fit snuglywithoutany slippage.
  7. Walk around the store in the shoes. Jog a little. If possible, take a few strides outside to see how the shoes feel. Some specialty running stores have treadmills forthis purpose. If so, jog on it fora minute or two to test your shoes

Normally we don’t recommend getting insoles or orthotics to help improve fit or support your arches.

I’ll send you more info soon about how to strengthen your feet and legs so you won’t need insoles – restoring the feet internal arch and if you already use them how you could actually train your feet to reduce or even stop having to wearing them and get back wearing the everyday shoes you love too in comfort

Know WHY You’re Running 

I ran a 10k to prove to myself that I could accomplish a goal. Having a reason to run keeps you going when you’re ready to lie down at half way. You may been raising money for charity or other local cause.

Get Support for Your Mini Marathon

When you make the decision to run the mini marathon, you have two choices.

You can keep it to yourself, in hopes that no one will notice you have the appetite of a rugby player, and calf muscles to match.

Or, you can tell everyone you know about it.

People will ask you how you’re training is going, whether you’ve lost any weight (and no, I didn’t. ARGH!) and offer you advice, good or bad.

If you’re really lucky, you’ll have a friend who will offer to come and cheer you on.

Your kids will be delighted and will want to come training too (leave the under 10’s at home) – but the teens will love getting out and doing something together with you.


Top Tips For Your Feet

Keep Them Dry

Some of you suffer from dry feet, while others suffer from sweaty, wet feet, which makes you more prone to athlete’s foot and other fungal problems. Keeping your feet dry isn’t easy, as you have approximately 125,000 sweat glands in each foot, and each foot can produce 1/4 pint of moisture a day!

Make sure you dry properly after shower and after drying with your towel use a sheet or two of toilet roll to dry between toes and really dry the skin – you already have some and its always close by,

Cool Down Your Toes

If your feet swell or get overheated when you walk or run, consider applying ice or soaking your feet in cold water immediately afterward. Adding Epsom salts to the cold water helps some runners, but the downside of using salts is that, if overused, they can make your feet too dry.

Take your shoes and socks off at the back door and walk around on the grass for a few minutes to let them cool down and relax.

Run cold water from a garden hose or tap over your feet. Or if you happen to end your run near a cold stream, stick your feet in the water for a few bracing minutes.

If your feet tend to get noticeably swollen after your runs, lay down for several minutes with your legs raised and use an ice pack on them. Just don’t keep the ice on your skin for more than 10 minutes, or you’ll risk frostbite.

Find the Rub​

A massage will do wonders for your feet  – self-massage – one good trick get a tennis ball or dog ball and slowly roll under your feet from heel to toe to massage all the muscle and tendons.

​While ​while sitting ​down ​watching TV or under the desk at work simply roll the ball from heel toe toe with enough downward pressure you can tolerate for 30 seconds – then focus in on any tender areas and slowly massage out for another 30 seconds.​ Side to side, up or down, round in circles – you choose.

Massaging your own feet isn’t like having someone else doing​ it, but, if done correctly, it’s just as effective, and it doesn’t cost a penny unless you want to bribe a passing kid to do it for you!

Do some ‘thumb walking’, To do this, hold one foot at the toes, heel or ankle, and place the thumb of your other hand on the sole of the held foot. Apply steady pressure with that thumb, moving up and down the sole like a caterpillar.

Apply some cream when you’re finished or some people prefare talc is up to you.

​and ​Stretch

(if I could get more people to just spend a few extra minutes on stretching they wouldn’t need to see me as much)

Most of the problems that I see with people who come to us and who want to keep active and mobile can be helped in large part by doing some stretching. You’ll have less muscle soreness and tightness if you so these after you’ve finished your walking or running session.

We all don’t have time, the kids need feeding straight away, you’ve to head out again​ when you get back from your run so it gets forgotten about, legs are stiff and sore​ later that night or when you get up the next morning – hobbling like an old lady 1st few minutes of each day is never a great look!

​These ​simple leg muscle stretches are essential and will stop you getting foot and leg soreness and stiffness​– hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2 times each leg

​​The main thing is any walking or running should be enjoyable and not an endurance test.​

​Look out for my ‘Race Day Tips’  and ‘Foot & Leg Strengthening’ Guides Coming Soon.​

Enjoy 😉

Justin Blake


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