Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Running

Penelope Cairns |

Beginners’ commandments of running – in a nutshell.


  • DON’T begin a running programme until you’ve had a full medical check-up if you’re over 40, significantly overweight, have been seriously ill in the past year or have a family history of heart disease.
  • DO tell someone where you’ll be running and when you expect to return. Carry some identification and some money just in case.
  • DO watch out for cars, and don’t expect drivers to watch out for you. Always run facing traffic so that you can see cars approaching. When crossing a junction, make sure you establish eye contact with the driver before proceeding.
  • DO try some light stretching exercises before and after your walk/run sessions, to reduce muscle tightness and increase your range of motion.
  • DO include a training partner in your programme if possible. A partner with similar abilities and goals can add motivation and increase the safety of your running.
  • DO dress correctly. If it’s dark, wear white or, better yet, reflective clothing. If it’s cold, wear layers of clothing, gloves or mittens to retain heat. Sunblock, sunglasses, a cap and white clothing make sense on hot days.
  • DON’T run in worn-out shoes, or in shoes that are designed for other sports.
  • DON’T attempt to train through an athletic injury. Little aches and pains can sideline you for weeks or months if you don’t take time off and seek medical advice.
  • DON’T wear headphones when running outdoors. They tune you out from your surroundings, making you more vulnerable to all sorts of hazards including cars, bikes, dogs and criminals.
  • DON’T run in remote areas, especially if you’re running alone. If you don’t have a training partner, run with a dog or carry a personal attack alarm. Don’t approach a car to give directions, and don’t assume that all runners are harmless.

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