Katie Bulmer-Cooke: The Great North Run is looming large

Run and enjoy it: Tony 'The Fridge' Morrison
Run and enjoy it: Tony 'The Fridge' Morrison

Many people in the north east and around the world even, will have had the famous A4 sized envelope land on their doormat over the last couple of weeks. That’s right…the Great North Run is looming!

If you have left it too late to get in any decent training then you’ll just have to swallow that on the day and take your time. However, if the GNR has given you the bug and you want to continue on your path to many personal bests, then here are some of my top training tips.

Recover Properly: Making sure you’re taking enough time to recover in between runs is really important. It is helpful to have a training plan to follow. This should factor in rest days, as making sure your muscles have had time to recover before you next pound the pavement can really help ease your body into the run, stopping your legs feeling heavy and tired. There are a whole host of different ways to recover such as foam rolling, massage or even ice baths.

It’s Not All About Running: A good way of improving your speed and avoiding injury is to add strength and conditioning exercises into your training plan. Focusing on muscles that strengthen your core will help with balance, which is really important when running.

Stop Clock Watching: A lovely friend of mine, Tony The Fridge, once asked me ‘Katie, do you enjoy running?’, to which I naturally replied with a very positive ‘YES’. He then turned to me and said ‘well just run and enjoy it’. Yes getting a good time is great, but it’s not the end of the world. Run because you love it, soak up the atmosphere of the event you’re taking part in…you may find that this actually helps you get an even better time!

So whether you’re gearing up for running the Great North Run or taking part in our local Park Run event at Silksworth every Saturday at 9am, here are my three things that the runner in me simply can’t live without…

Foam Roller. Using a foam roller daily helps to prevent muscle tightness and injury.

Good trainers. Go for a cross trainer or running shoe that supports the ankles well, and if you’re training regularly, you can expect to need to change your trainers around every 4-5 months.

A goal. I always love having something to push towards. Now all that is left to grab your trainers, and let’s get running!