Top running tips from the experienced for the beginner

I am currently getting our battle hardened veteran runners at our local club to give their top 3 tips for beginner runners. The plan is to draw a conclusion of what the top 3 tips are, as well as share some of the tips which you may not think of to create a helpful flyer for beginner runners.

Here is one of our contributers with his tips


I started my running career at the age of 38, at the same time as my 15 year old son switched from football and boxing.  We had both had some experience of running, but not very much. Amateur boxers and lower league footballers were not the most earnest trainers, and indeed back in 1978, some smoked cigarettes, and most drank too much!

 My first running club was at Waldneil, in the former West Germany.  It was the home of Dr Van Aaken who was the founder of Long Slow Distance, (LSD), and so this is what I started out with.

 Here is a brief description of his theory etc;

Dr. Ernst Van Aaken who developed a specific long, slow distance approach to running based on endurance training consisting mainly of long distance training plus interval and speed training with a unique twist as he stressed a very conservative ratio of long distance running to speed training (he applied his approach to distances ranging from the 5k to the marathon).

Dr. Van Aaken believed the interval method (commonly practiced today) stressed too much speed and high intensity work.  While it may sound like Dr. Van Aaken’s method is similar to Authur Lydiard’s method, there are actually some clear differences.  While Dr. Van Aaken agreed with interval principles and speed training in general, he believed that too much high speed intervals blocked endurance rather than building it and that the continual practicing of high speed, beyond racing speed, was uneconomical and led to a decrease in reserves.  He stressed that the bulk of running should be done at a heart rate of about 130 beats per minute and that doing too much running at 140-200 beats per minute placed too heavy a strain on the cardio-vascular system to allow proper adaption.

It is interesting given recent stories of stress on the heart, than a heart rate of 130 was recommended for the bulk of running.

 Van Aaken’s method certainly suited me, and I swiftly progressed from running 1.5 miles, (the Army Fitness Test Distance), to a marathon in 5 months, and two months later a sub 3 hour marathon. My speedwork consisted mainly of occasional races, sometimes even a half marathon, but I would not recommend this, and some training runs with runners who were slightly faster.  At the time, I wore well padded shoes and only slightly less padded ones for racing.  I went years without any running injuries.

I would advocate lots of easy paced running and some Parkruns for speed.

So that makes:-

Tip one – Make most training sessions easy paced running

Tip two – Don’t over train on speed intervals

Tip three – Wear good cushioned shoes for training and you can go lighter for racing.

I am still gathering information, so any Scarborough Athletics Club members who want to give their top 3 tips please send them via one of our website form, Facebook Page (link below) or write them down and hand them to me at club. The deadline is Wednesday 12th and hopefully the flyer should be ready a few weeks after.