The perfect month to plan a new running regime to kick start, motivate and create healthy habits as Winter beckons

The arrival of September is an exciting time. I have always felt that it is the start of a new beginning. As I write this blog the sun is ablaze and immediately it empowers you to want to get moving!

We are getting back to our routine still with fond memories of the summer in our mind and this is the ideal time to look forward to putting together a new workout plan whether you wish to begin, restart or kick start your running.

We have a fresh impetus of enthusiasm and this is the moment to seize and begin a health and fitness journey ensuring that consistency and resilience is embedded before the nights fully draw in and cold weather beckons…

Whether you are starting out as a runner, looking to prepare for a spring 10k, half or full marathon September is more productive than a freezing cold January.

The 9 tips of S E P T E M B E R……

Start now, stay strong – September is often the best month offering comfortable weather with milder temperatures, light mornings and evenings making it very pleasant to engage in outdoor running. Which in turn will make the transition to winter training a lot easier as excellent habits are instilled and you have a positive mindset. Treat yourself to some new kit for an added boost and get going!

Endorphins – Running triggers the release of endorphins which are natural chemicals in the brain. They help to reduce pain and enhance mood, often known as the runners high which is a feeling of euphoria and well being experienced either during or after a run. Running will improve both physical and mental health.

Plan – This creates consistency and keeps you accountable, on a Sunday look at the week ahead and your commitments then identify and lock in when you will run; make it a non negotiable. If your plan is written down including the details of the session (i.e distance, time, pace)and kept in a visible place this enhances motivation. Use a highlighter to cross off each completed training session. I love seeing the plan come to life as each session is finished. Starting points to think about:

How many times a week are you going to run?

When are you going to train? Before/after work? When do you have the most energy?

What are the competing demands on your time each week?

Running before work – Lay your kit out in the bathroom the night before.

Running after work – get changed before you leave the workplace.

Technique first – Your body learns through movement, if you practice correct movement, the body learns correct movement. Mastering technique through repetition will reduce the chances of injury, muscle imbalances and ensure that your training sessions target the correct muscle groups. This will lead to more effective workouts and better results.

Need help with you Running Technique? Click the link to find out about Refined Running’s Analysis and 6 week programme Weekly Programmes

Eat well – A balanced diet is essential for optimal performance and promoting better recovery. The main considerations for runners are as follows:

Carbohydrates are the main source of sustained energy for runners, your body stores carbohydrate in the form of glycogen which is broken down to provide energy- Your diet should aim for 55-60% of carbohydreates. Incorporate complex carbs such as cereals, pasta, wholegrains, potatoes.

Protein: Protein aids in muscle repair and growth. Include lean sources like poultry, fish, beans, in your diet. Aim for a balanced protein intake throughout the day and it is recommended that yotr diet should contain 15-20% of protein.

Healthy Fats: Fats provide sustained energy and support overall health. Choose sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

Hydration: Proper hydration is crucial. Drink water regularly throughout the day.

Eat a balanced meal 2-3 hours before your run to fuel your body. After a run, have a post-workout meal or snack with carbs and protein to aid recovery.

Move more in general – this is referred to as ‘Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis'(NEAT) and includes activities such as walking, fidgeting, gentle stretching and housework. It can contribute to effective weight management, active recovery after exercise, reduce sedentary behaviour and help aid cardiovascular health and strength.

Ways to Increase NEAT levels: take the stairs instead of the lift, leave the bus a stop or two early and walk to work. Where you take the car could you leave earlier and walk??

Finish your day with a 30 minute walk to add to your daily steps – aim for min of 8000 steps per day

Benefits – Running regularly and following a dedicated programme will:

Strengthen the heart lowering the risk of disease as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Enhancing lung capacity.

Increase your endurance – allowing you to run further and progress in your plan

Strengthen muscles and bones which in turn will promote muscle tone and increase bone density – reducing the chances of osteoporosis.

Improve sleep quality and combat stress

Increase confidence and self esteem as you track your progress through the weeks as well as increasing your energy levels

Enter an event – Starting to train in September builds a solid foundation to be ready to enter a , 5k, 10k, half/ full marathon or even an adventure race in the Spring.

paying for an event gives added accountability, determination and commitment to train through the winter months.

Resistance training – Resistance training offers several benefits for runners, which include strengthening muscles and connective tissues, correct muscle imbalances, enhance neuromuscular coordination and power which will in turn improve running efficiency.

Strength training forms a vital cog in our 6 week and 12 week programmes. Aim for 2 to 3 times a week. Example exercises – Step ups, single leg squats, single leg bicep curl.

September is your time…..build great habits

for a strong winter! Don’t let it pass you by…

Be sure to check out my next blog which will be focused on goal setting, but for now go outside, enjoy the sun and those first runs. Form the habit and when you come back you can create more concrete goals! It is your moment, find momentum and we will build from there!

Refined Running based near Wallingford specialises in helping perfect the running technique If you have a goal in mind or need help structuring your running journey get in touch via the Contact page and we can start rapidly taking you to what you want to achieve this September and beyond.