10 Dos and Don'ts

Beginners' commandments - in a nutshell

Posted: 5 May 2002

  1. DON’T begin a running programme until you’ve had a full medical check-up if you’re over 40, significantly overweight, have been seriously ill in the past year or have a family history of heart disease.
  2. DO tell someone where you’ll be running and when you expect to return. Carry some identification and 10p for a phone call.
  3. DO watch out for cars, and don’t expect drivers to watch out for you. Always run facing traffic so that you can see cars approaching. When crossing a junction, make sure you establish eye contact with the driver before proceeding.
  4. DO try some light stretching exercises before and after your walk/run sessions, to reduce muscle tightness and increase your range of motion.
  5. DO include a training partner in your programme if possible. A partner with similar abilities and goals can add motivation and increase the safety of your running.
  6. DO dress correctly. If it’s dark, wear white or, better yet, reflective clothing. If it’s cold, wear layers of clothing, gloves or mittens and a woollen ski hat to retain heat. Sunblock, sunglasses, a cap and white clothing make sense on hot days.
  7. DON’T run in worn-out shoes, or in shoes that are designed for other sports.
  8. DON’T attempt to train through an athletic injury. Little aches and pains can sideline you for weeks or months if you don’t take time off and seek medical advice.
  9. DON’T wear headphones when running outdoors. They tune you out from your surroundings, making you more vulnerable to all sorts of hazards including cars, bikes, dogs and criminals.
  10. DON’T run in remote areas, especially if you’re running alone. If you don’t have a training partner, run with a dog or carry a personal attack alarm. Don’t approach a car to give directions, and don’t assume that all runners are harmless.

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Discuss this article

Can someone let me know what I should eat and/or drink before running ?
As it stands I'm eating a little about 30 mins before going out and drinking lots of water right up until I walk out the door.
Is this the healthiest way ?
Posted: 16/12/2002 at 13:36

IWhat time of day are you going out? How far/long are you running? How do you feel during and after your run?
A lot depends on how you feel and how your insides handle food and drink with exercise.
I usually recommend my beginners to stop drinking about 30 minutes before they run to allow for a last trip to the loo before going out, then take a drink with them for sipping on the way. Food - i usually reckon on stop eating solids about one and half to two hours before going out, depending on how quickly you digest. I,personally, can eat a banana 5 minutes before going out of the door, but that's about it.
I usually have either porrige or a big bowl of cereal about 2 hours before running.
Try experimenting and you'll soon find out what suits you. Everyone is different.

Posted: 16/12/2002 at 13:48

Usually I'll have my Shreddies as soon as I get up then, whilst ironing my shirt for work, I'll slurp down a pint of water before going out about 6.30.
After doing some trawling about the forums I'm going to try a little bit of chocolate instead of cereal tomorrow but stick with the pint of water.
It may not make a huge difference seeing as I live in Edinburgh and not one yard of this town is flat so I'll be knackered when I get home no matter what I do . . .
Posted: 16/12/2002 at 13:57

Well I was out at 6.30 this morning after a pints and a half of water and two chocolate decorations off the tree and felt better than ever !
I think I have found my routine.
Posted: 17/12/2002 at 08:40

If it is an early morning run, something short, like 35-40 mins, then I don't eat anything, and that which I drink is just to freshen me up. I concentrate on eating a decent breakfast and rehydrating when I get back.

If it is any other time of the day, then I try to leave about 3 hours since eating a proper meal, but will usually make sure I am hydrated well also.

I only drink on the run if it is an hour plus. I only think about eating if it is more than 2/2.5 hours on the go, and then that is usually an energy gel or something like that, although, to be honest, I rarely run for such a long time, so my experience is limited.
Posted: 17/12/2002 at 09:44

But what will you did once the kids have stripped the Christmas tree bare of chocolate goodies?
Posted: 17/12/2002 at 12:20

that is do not did!
Posted: 17/12/2002 at 12:21

I find food and drink after running abetter mix than before.You should run when you are not already hungry.Same as with any exercise.
Posted: 29/12/2002 at 16:17

I find a run much more pleasant if I haven't eaten for at least an hour beforehand. When I first started running a few years ago (back before I knew things like PBs existed) I'd do a 1/2 - 3/4 hour run most mornings before uni (5am start - I was keen!) then come back and have breakfast.

Now I run in the evening during the week, except for weekends when I generally do at least one long run. Again though, I don't eat beforehand - anybody got pros or cons for not eating/drinking anything before running for 1.5-2 hours first thing in the morning? Would there be any advantage in eating something the night before?
Posted: 04/01/2003 at 22:10

I don't seem to be able to eat anything other than an energy bar before I run . . . even if I leave a good three hours after a light meal, I still get appalling stitch.

Dead miserable when everybody else is scoffing breakfast and I can't have any!!!
Posted: 04/01/2003 at 22:35

Even if I'm not running until 11 in the morning, I can't eat anything at all beforehand. Even if I leave 3 hours between food and a run, the results are very..... untidy!
Posted: 05/01/2003 at 08:09

I have cereal and tea within 30 minutes of my early morning runs - out by 5.30 at the latest. My problem is when I do races that start late morning, I always feel hungry despite eating something 30min. before. I'm sure there's a psychological element to all this!!
Posted: 05/01/2003 at 10:23

I can't eat enough before going for a run. Especially the Sunday morning long 'un (lovely day for it today, eh?)

So I'm up at 7.30, eat as big a bowl of weetabix or other filling cereal as I can, plus a banana and peanut butter sarnie if I have time, with a cuppa as well. Out the door by 8.30 for a gentle jog down to the meetup venue.

And I still feel starving by the time I've finished.

Like someone said earlier, we're all different.
Posted: 05/01/2003 at 13:09

hI All
Can anyone give me advice on these energy gel bars that runners eat during and after races, i have found a make called "MAXIM ENERGY BAR " has anyone tried these to see if any good.
Or can anyone recommend others to eat and how many do you eat during and after running.
I am doing the london this year for the first time...
Posted: 05/01/2003 at 20:12

Hi Tim,

I read somewhere, probablr RW,that you need to have something every 30 min on any run longer than 90 min. I have an SIS gel every 30 - 40 min plus water which I find ok.
Posted: 07/01/2003 at 18:21

Need some inspiration to get started. I have never run before but have been inspired by the Edinburgh marathon to run for charity. Have I got enough time to train for my first in five months ?
Posted: 17/01/2003 at 15:48

Check out the Training Schedules in this months Runners World they have lots of different ones for different abilities, they have printed the first 5 weeks of a 14 week scedule, they will also give you an idea of what base level of training you need to have for each finishing time. I sound like an advert, but I'm following one from this series, thought it was time I had a change and stopped using the 10 steps to success Bruce Tulloh one from 1997.
Posted: 17/01/2003 at 15:58

Thamks Monique I'll do just that.
Posted: 17/01/2003 at 22:18

Im getting really confused about 2 things here. Firstly stretching. Do I stretch before I warm up, or warm up, run then stretch..What ? Im ranting a bit really as Ive read so many differences of opinion that Im uttely confused. Also, I was told not to run in the early morning as it can be more damaging !!?? Secondly, eating and drinking before and after a run. The variations and differences here are astounding - I understand that everyone is different but there must be a bit of a rule of thumb.

I get up EARLY as I have to commute so out of the door by 7am and Im generaly not home much before 7pm. Suffice to say fitting in the exercise is tricky (Im training for triathlon). Is there anyone else like me having to fit a life of fitness around a mad job ?
Posted: 05/06/2006 at 10:36

I to have the same difficulty with training and work!! I work anything between 7am & 11pm so its only possible to train on my days off! But in reference to training i feel the general rule is a quick jogg (with excercises), stretch then run. I find this the best way i have been doing this routine for 4 years and its suits me down to the ground.

Hope this helps!!!

Posted: 11/06/2007 at 09:28

10 Do's and Dont's.

Beginners' commandments - in a nutshell

"9. DON’T wear headphones when running outdoors. They tune you out from your surroundings, making you more vulnerable to all sorts of hazards including cars, bikes, dogs and criminals."

This in my opinion is utter rubbish; in fact the opportunity to run with music is one of the reasons that these last five years, since I started running have been so enjoyable. Those who exercise to music use 70% les oxygen than usual, if you have a real passion for music and pick the right tunes to run to, it will improve your efficiency. Also don’t feel that you need to keep the tempo over 120 beats per min, in a simple 4:4 pattern, to take advantage of this, but vary your playlist and experiment with down beats in unusual time signatures or indeed simple ambient music with no percussion at all. I've had just as sublime experiences with music running then I have going to live gigs, even if this has meant braving those "hazards" of cars, bikes, dogs and criminals (what???).

Posted: 07/02/2009 at 22:36

I eat a bowl of 3 weetabix for breakfast, followed by some form of fruit, usually just an apple but a banana or pear do the job equally, then drink a fair amount of water in a short time, then sip water for about an hour afterwards, giving me time to pop to the bog. By this point im usually good to start my run, but on some mornings stiches just pop up anyway. If you find yourself getting one, slow your pace, relax your arms, and DON'T rub the area. A stitch is muscle contraction, inhale very deeply then exhale very hard to stretch the diaphram and surrounding muscles, and ease the stitch. It will probably be gone in half a mile.
Posted: 07/12/2009 at 21:02

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