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St Luke's - Running tips

Tips from our very own St Luke's runners to help you stride to success!

Here's a few top tips from some of our staff and volunteer running fanatics to help with your training.


  • Spend as little as you want to on clothes but don’t skimp on your shoes – invest in a really good pair from a specialist running shop. The right shoes are a complete non-negotiable!
  • If training in the dark, think about a head torch. It’ll ensure you can see where you are stepping and makes it easier for oncoming vehicles or runners to see you.
  • You may want to carry a GPS watch or phone, or use an app like Strava to track your runs.
  • By all means invest in fluorescent and reflective clothing to run in when it’s dark, but don’t let this be a substitute for good road sense and general common sense!
  • Don’t underestimate the value of a good pair of socks to help absorb some of the impact, keep your toes toasty and avoid any blisters.
  • Get out and run on those Sheffield hills – the Yorkshire Half is essentially a long uphill, followed by a bit of flat and then a long downhill. Uphills are hard for sure, but don’t be scared of them! If you get out and practise, practise, practise! Go running on the long uphill and the first thing you’ll realise is that it’s not that steep. Drop your speed a little, keep your head up and your chest open, keep breathing and you’ll be surprised how manageable “the hill” is.
  • Don’t ignore the downhill. Running down long hills doesn’t gain as much time as you think, and takes a bigger toll than most people realise. When you’re out training, don’t think of the downhills as a rest as this will come and bite you on the Big Day! Get out there and toughen those quads by running hard down lots of hills.
  • Most of us start a race with a goal in mind – it might be to finish, or to finish under a certain time, or to run free of injury. For any race, set yourself three goals at three levels. One very achievable goal, one that will be hard but realistic and a totally ambitious (but yet not unreachable) goal. Aim for the best of these, try hard, but be happy to re-evaluate before or during the race to settle for your medium or low goal. That way, in all likelihood you’ll come away from the day with something you’re pleased with.
  • Mix your training up. Throw in some interval sessions to get your body used to speed, a few threshold sessions to get your body used to working hard for a decently long period, hill sessions (see above), and plenty of off-road running to strengthen the feet, ankles and knees (and reinvigorate the soul!) Make sure you run a few long runs but don’t overdo it… You don’t need to do everything all the time. Just make sure you get a decent mix of runs during your months of training and you’ll reap the rewards on race day.
  • Whilst bearing the above in mind, make sure you do over half your training at easy conversational pace. This builds a good base and teaches your body to burn fat as well as blood-sugars, but most importantly it’ll ensure you don’t over train or fatigue, and it’ll help you ward off injuries.
  • Learn to recognise the difference between fatigue/injury, and laziness! If you’re feeling tired or sore then don’t be afraid to rest. If you’re just feeling lazy then lace up those shoes and get out of the door!
  • Depending on how long you expect to be running and what kind of training you’ve been doing, you may or may not want to eat gels or similar on race day. Test out various options during training so that you can devise an informed plan for race day. Learn what your stomach can handle and what translates to feeling good when you’re on your feet.

Thanks again for choosing to run for St Luke's, all the money you raise will help our patients and their families when they need it most.

NB: These tips are intended as a guide to help our runners with training. If you have any questions or concerns about any of the tips, please discuss with your doctor before incorporating them into your training.

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