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Think you aren’t a runner? Think again

As the London Marathon nears, top fitness trainer REBEKAH ABDEEN shares her essential advice for novice runners.

The journey to distance running can appear daunting, especially if it’s new territory for you – but with focused, achievable milestones across every aspect of your routine, I believe it’s possible for anyone to develop the required fitness and stamina.

Understanding exactly how your body moves is essential. Do you need to be aware of any imbalances which may cause injury at a later stage? It’s always worth seeking advice from a good chiropractor if you’re unsure.

The best investment you can make when beginning with a running challenge is footwear. There are several great sports shoe specialists across London which will assess your feet and movement patterns, provide orthotics if necessary and get you fully prepared.

When it comes to your training focus, constantly pounding the pavements or treadmill is going to feel laborious and become boring before long. Set yourself some distance run challenges two to three times per week, beginning with shorter distances, then increase it every few weeks.

Working on your strength, mobility and overall fitness is going to be essential in future-proofing your body. Make the time to attend yoga or Pilates once a week: they’re a perfect complement to running as they help with injury prevention, support breathing techniques and control over your movement. Jumping on a bike, whether in a Spin class, commuting or cruising around the park is another excellent supplement to your running routine – not only will it increase lung capacity and overall strength with a particular focus on your legs, cycling is also low-impact and will provide your knees with some much needed rest.

After all that hard work, you’ll need to incorporate stretching into your routine. Develop a simple sequence you can do at home, that allows you to target key areas such as hamstrings, quads and glutes. Magnesium salt baths are also an ideal way to relax and recover after every run, providing a mental escape too. After all, it’s not just about the physical.

Build yourself some killer playlists on Spotify or Apple Music, invest in wireless headphones and take off with your favourite sounds to keep committed to the streets.

Rebekah Abdeen is a personal trainer and indoor cycling instructor who splits her time between London and Zurich.

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