We've got lots of top tips to get you race ready.
The Enormous Elephant Run is for all levels of fitness and ability. It's up to you how you take part, but whether you want to run, jog or walk around the course, our Running Expert, Julie Fastiggi from Running Matters has some top ideas to help.
Whether you've never done a 5k before or want to ace our race, our couch to 5k training plan will help you know where to start and pace yourself to meet your goals, injury free. See you at the starting line! Download 5k training plan
Are you a running newbie but want to get active? There are lots of reasons to start running, but make sure you consider Julie's top tips before you start pounding the pavement.
THE VERY FIRST THING: If you're recovering from injury or concerned about any existing condition do see your GP before starting running.
- Ensure you wear good running shoes that suit your foot type. This will give you the most comfortable run and reduce the risk of injury. Visit a specialist running retailer for a gait analysis and shoe advice.
- Wear comfortable, breathable kit. This does not mean expensive, we can run in a t-shirt and shorts/tracksuit just make sure there is comfort and no chaffing.
- Be hydrated before you start a training session, this will energise you also, then sufficiently rehydrate after to replace lost salts and fluid.
- Precede each run with a gentle warm up of at least 5 minutes. This can include dynamic exercises: skips, side steps, marching, knee lifts etc., this is essential to prepare the body.
- After each run, do a static stretch session, this is only short, 10-12 secs per stretch which is sufficient to re-lengthen the contracted muscles. Stretch calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and adductors. Then, the next day your muscles will feel much fresher!
- Always run safe, be visible at night (head torch/hi-vis clothing) if you run alone take a mobile phone, you never know when you might need one!
Benefits of running
Whether you want to simply get some fresh air and see the great outdoors, or take on a new challenge, there are lots of reasons to start running. Importantly, there are also some fantastic physical and well-being benefits too and we asked Julie to share with you her top 10 reasons to get moving:
- It improves your overall good mental health: giving you that "feel good" factor!
- Strengthens your lungs: running miles helps increase your lung capacity.
- Builds up your immune system: regular running builds up your tolerance to germs resulting in fewer coughs & colds... awesome!
- Gives you physically strong legs: as a runner your legs are a powerhouse, they work hard up and down hills, along trails and pavements... anywhere you take them really!
- Helps prevent high blood pressure. When you run, your arteries work harder, expanding and contracting which keeps them fit. That, in turn, keeps your blood pressure in a normal healthy range.
- Weight control: running burns a lot of calories, approximately 100 calories per mile.
- Relieves stress: exercise increases your serotonin levels in the brain, which brings those 'feel good' sensations and also creates calmness.
- Increases joint strength and stability. Running increases ligament and tendon strength, enabling your joints to handle more mileage and uneven terrain.
- Builds up bone density: when we run, our bones are put under an amount of stress. Essential minerals are then delivered to your bones, which makes them stronger.
- Gives you confidence! As a new runner your confidence WILL begin to grow if you stick with it. It does become easier and you will notice changes in your pace and strength in a matter of weeks.