Running in Kent
If you’re looking for a way to get fit and tour some of the beautiful Kent Countryside, whether it’s sweeping hills or coastal paths, running is the way to go. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting out jogging, or you’re looking for sprints or long distance runs, you can get out and explore more of Kent’s countryside, parks and open spaces whilst on the run.
Take a spin around the park and you could be doing yourself the world of good as running helps strengthen bones and tendons, improves mental health, is good for the heart and, best of all, it is a great way to de-stress.
So, before you lace up your trainers and take to the tarmac, read our top tips on how to keep safe:
- If you can, avoid going it alone and run with a friend! If you are alone, make sure you let a friend know your route time
- Carry a mobile phone and/or money for a call box; wear an ID band
- Don’t wear headphones – you will need to hear what’s going on around you
- Be seen. Wear light or fluorescent clothing in the day and reflective clothing at night and make sure other road users can see you
- Run in well-populated, lit areas if you are running by yourself
- Check the weather & be prepared. Layering is key
You may not always be able to avoid injuries, but understanding these top tips might just help you stay on your feet.
- Run Tall. This will help lengthen your spine and lift your head
- Keep your arms and shoulders relaxed and push your chest up and forwards
- Keep level. Imagine your pelvis is a bucket full of water that you don’t want to spill and keep it level! Then make sure your bum and tummy are tucked in.
- Wear the correct trainer. Running shoes are just that, specifically designed for the task at hand (or foot), and you’ll find they have evolved over the years to better protect your feet as they hit the ground. Head to a specialist running shop and make sure you get some advice.
- Don’t rush in. Patience really is a virtue. Don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% each week, especially if you’re a
- Work on your core stability & strength. If these muscles are weak, they won’t do their job properly in keeping you “running tall”. Other muscles step in that aren’t designed to do the job & they can pull the body out of alignment & make you more susceptible to injury.
- Trick of the trade: Imagine holding a crisp between your thumb and forefinger with your thumb on top and try not to break it! This keeps your arms and shoulders relaxed. Look ahead and not at your feet. Keep smiling!
Join your local Running Group
If you need some support or you just don’t want to go it alone, you’ll find over 100 running groups and clubs in Kent. It doesn’t matter whether you’re brand new to running or a pro, the groups welcome everyone, whatever their ability and fitness. Qualified and UKA insured Run Leaders are there to support you and you’ll find beginner-friendly sessions throughout the year to help you make that first step.
To find your local running group in Kent, please visit: http://www.kentsport.org/running_groups
Find your nearest Running Route
It doesn’t matter where you are, all you really need is to get outside and run, but in Kent you’ll find plenty of permanently marked running routes for walkers, joggers and more experienced runners. So if you’re looking for some route ideas, you can find your nearest here (insert link to http://www.kentsport.org/running_routes.asp)
Train for your first running event
Want to keep motivated and stay on track? There’s no better way to stay focussed than by signing up to your first event. With weekly park runs, 5km charity fun runs, 10km road runs, half and full marathons, you’re spoilt for choice in Kent. So what are you waiting for? Have a look at Kent’s latest running events and get signed up. http://www.kentsport.org/running_local_events.asp
Run Together (www.runtogether.co.uk) is the National Governing Body for running in England. It offers loads of resources and information on getting started on your running journey.
Run Kent (www.kentsport.org/run) is the local programme for Run England in Kent. It aims to support, develop & grow our local running market. If you’d like to take up running or perhaps start your own running group, Run Kent is here to help you!
parkrun (www.parkrun.org.uk) are free weekly timed 5k events that take place in various locations across the country every Saturday morning. Kent currently has 12 parkruns & 3 junior parkruns for anyone to take part in. These free events are organized by volunteers. They welcome all abilities but are particularly good for anyone new to running.