Thinking About Running - JB Fitness UK

Thinking About Running

  • July 31, 2023


We have a special guest writing our blog this week.

JB Fit UK Coach Gemma is our special guest writer for this week & the theme is running!

Hey, It’s coach Gemma here ​😊

Some of you may know that I love running and have been running competitively for over 15 years with some years as an athletics coach too.

And as summer has arrived, running can become more & more attractive.

But, we are often conditioned to believe running is hard, unenjoyable (cue flashbacks to winter PE lessons), & if you didn’t finish tired & sweaty then it wasn’t productive.

However, running harder doesn’t = better.

It’s really easy to over analyse running.

Similar to your training with JB Fitness UK, we want to be in it for the long game, & reap the many health benefits over a lifetime…

  • Improved cardiovascular system (heart & lungs)
  • Increased whole-body muscular strength
  • Improved markers of health (consistent running can lower blood pressure & resting heart rate, improve blood sugar control, & lower cholesterol)

Here are some fundamentals to help you begin running, to make it easier, & more enjoyable.

How fast should I be running?

Start slow, slower than you think. 

Like walking, running is great for the efficiency of the cardiovascular & aerobic systems. 

Over time you will use less energy when you run & feel less exhausted! 

We want to train the aerobic system first, before thinking about running fast. 

Contrary to popular belief, in running, walking is NOT cheating.

If you are brand new to running, start by running for time/duration, rather than distance covered. 

Begin by walking, & every few minutes sprinkle in a short, low intensity run, then return to walking, & repeat the process.

Try the talk test when you’re running – can you maintain a conversation while at this pace? If yes, keep that speed, but if you’re struggling to talk, slow it down.

Over time your running to walking ratio will change, you will feel as though you can run for longer, & this is when we progress.

How should I progress?

To keep you running long-term, consider these steps in your running:

Step 1 – feeling good physically: injury free

Step 2 – enjoying running

Step 3 – challenging yourself

This order is important, we progress & add distance/duration (step 3) only by what is allowed by steps 1 & 2. 

You can’t add miles if you’re injured, or not enjoying it. 

When starting, protect the enjoyment factor, hold back a little so you feel excited & motivated to go running again. 

Resist the temptation to run too far, or too fast, & maintain the foundation of being a strong & injury free runner!


Here are a few cues to help you be more efficient, feel relaxed & comfortable…

  • Everyone’s form is different as we all have different biomechanics, don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Relaxed shoulders give balance & rhythm, keep shoulders back to open up the chest & not restrict airways
  • Think about running softly & landing quietly – this helps reduce stress in the knees & feet, reducing injury risk

Remember to perform a dynamic warm up before you start, the routine we do at JB Fitness UK is a great example.

How do we become a strong, injury-free runner?

  • Build your running volume slowly.
  • Continue resistance based training. This helps improve running economy & reduce injury. By training at JB Fitness UK, you are already working towards this! A lot of our fundamental movements such as squats, deadlifts, lunges & hip presses are great for runners.
  • Consistency – think of it as an accumulation game, the more time spent in that low-intensity running pace, the more your aerobic system will adapt & improve, helping you to run further, & eventually faster.

I hope this helps and if you ever have any questions about running, I’d love to help.

See you soon,

Coach Gemma

So there you have it people, your own personal, beginners guide to running.

Doing this 1-2 times per week alongside your strength training sessions will see you flying & feeling great.

To your success,

Coach JB

About the Author James Bramwell

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