🏃🏻‍♀️Running 🏃🏿‍♂️The Do’s and Don’ts🧐 by UNIT13 Fitness

  /   Community,Health & Fitness

As a child running was simple.

Put on the runners. Run out the door. Keep running!

Simple. 😇

However as we age there are a few more considerations.

Here are some common notes before starting your 5km, 10k or Marathon programme. These alone will make a massive difference in your running performance. 💯

How often should I run?📆

Run a little and run often. This can be taken one or two ways. However what we may suggest is considering how much time you can realisitically spend running. Give or take it will take you a total of 45 mins – 1.5 hours to get your run in. Even if its just a 30 minute run. (10 minute stretching, 30 min run, 5 mins recovery).

Lifestyle considerations need to be made. This is where a coach will come in handy.

However we suggest starting with 3 times per week. Two running “sessions” and one very slow recovery run.

How far? 😳

If the fastest man in the world was to run 5km it would take him under 13 minutes to do it. If it takes you 25-35 minutes then would it not be wise to run for time.

At the end of the day the guy who ran 13 minutes is finished in half the time. So therefore technicaly he did half of the work.

We would recommend that on 2 days of the week you run for a set amount of time. then on one day of the week run a set calculated distance.

Often times injuries come about from 2 things:

  1. Drastic increase in volume
  2. Drastic increase in intensity.

Therefore take it easy and work from a programme.

How many miles? 🤯

Same answer as above. Realistically you want to run the 5km or 10 k or marathon faster. Therefore to do so you need a good structured programme. I would never prescribe mileage to someone who had been running for less than 1 year consistently 5-6 days per week.

So if you havent been running consistently 5-6 days per week for the last year then forget about miles and follow the rule outlined in the previous point (See the above section on: ‘How Far’)


Hydration isn’t a solution for when you have a decrease in performance. Its the solution that you need for optimal performance in every avenue.

If you are a coffee drinker, like most runners are, hydration becomes even more important.

Our rule at UNIT 13 is:

2 Before 2

That simply means 2 litres of water drank before 2pm. Also on hotter days or on heavy training weeks we often encourage clients and runners to consume a Dioralyte 2 to 3 times per week to replace salts and minerals that you have perspired.

Overall you want to be consuming 1 litre per 25kg of bodyweight. Typically 3 litres per day.


If you are running you need fuel.

Your body needs recovery. To find the best solutions consult with a nutritionist. However we do suggest having foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and rich in protein pre and post workout. Fats like avocados or other tend to be a bit more difficult to breakdown after your workout so keep these for other meals.

However when running you want to insist you get the timing of meals right.

Nobody likes running while food sways around in their stomachs.

This then comes down to trial and ‘SMALL errors’. Don’t be silly. Eat wholesome food and leave the takeaways until AFTER physical activity

Why strength train 🧐

As we age we tend to lose lean muscle mass. The reason for this as that at the end of puberty we have a reduction in “growth”. Growth and strength of muscles can only then occur if they have resistance placed upon them and our limbs are challenged to ben and move (strength work).

Think about it…

If you have any join on your body which doesn’t move in its full range of motion because of lack of strength and mobility that joint and the muscles around it are vulnerable to injury…

Therefore our strength and posture isn’t as resilient as it was back X amount of years ago. This may yield some issues in your running performance.

  • Stride length reduction
  • Efficiency decreased due to weak postural muscles
  • Range of motion issues in major joints
  • Bone mineral density issues

However do not let this deter you. Simple contact a professional strength coach (US…. wink wink). Strength coaches and coaches are typically a lot cheaper than they used to be. But a good one can cost you anything from €30-75 per week for 2-3 sessions per week).

How fast? (Pace) 💨

This is my favourite one.

Its so so easy to get wrong.

When we talk about 70% or 100% that does not mean sprinting pace when we talk about anything longer than 100m.

Technically a human being can only reach max 100% sprint pace over the course of 50-80m. Coming to the end of a 100m race the fastest athletes in the world are actually fatiguing and slowing down!


When training for anything take the below chart and implement that pacing strategy.


In terms of training intensity over the course of a 5 day running programme I would start with something that involved all running at 50-70% for 2-3 weeks and then move to something like this:

Mon: Steady LIGHT run 30 minutes

Tues: Intervals 3 minutes on 1.5 minute off x6 (80-90%)

Weds: Rest

Thur: 20 minute Tempo (70-80%)

Fri: 35 Minute light run (50%)

Sat: Long run 35-40 mins (60-70%)

Sun: Yoga / Pilates / Strength work.

What footwear? 👟

  1. Dont buy the ones that look fancy just for the sakes of it!
  2. Typically here the best thing to do s go into a running shop. A running shop is best. Typically the people working in here are athletes / runners themselves so they all you loads of questions, then ask you to have a look at your feet (have the nails done…) so that they can assess for pronation / supination.
  3. I would suggest being assessed by these shops and trying a pair of runners that suit you. The key here is have enough room in the ‘toe box’ to wiggle and flatten your toes for some sense of comfort.
  4. When you find the right pair. Buy 2 pairs. That way you can then switch them out when wet from the day before and also your feet get used to the same type of shoe so that you dont have to get used to them every-time you put them on.