Running Club

Following on from the success in recent years of the summer Running Club for University staff the Sports Centre will once again be setting up and co-ordinating a running club throughout the months of July, August and September. Hopefully this is something we will be able to sustain throughout the year if the interest is there.

This club will help assist many staff in their summer training programme who have targets for races such as the Great North Run. There are many reasons to join the running club, to get fitter and healthier, meet new runners/people, a new challenge, establish a routine, want to be able to run 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon or because you just love to run are just a few reason to get involved.

There are many benefits of running, running is a great way to remain active at a time when peoples lifestyle generally becomes less active in adulthood.  There are many medical studies (although not all are conclusive) showing that running can reduce your chances of developing many heart, bone and physical conditions.  It is proven to strengthen your heart and cardiovascular systems and helps to reduce your body's excess fat.
In addition to the physical benefits there are clear psychological benefits from keeping fit having a positive effect on your life, relationships and coping with the pressures of work.  The feeling of achievement can also boost self-esteem and confidence.
The runs will take place in the surrounding parks and Town Moor and will be suitable for all abilities and interests. Runs will take place twice a week in the first instance – Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will start at 12.30pm on these days from the Sports Centre (although there will be a pick up point further down campus, the location dependant on which run is been run on that day).

The Sports Centre will be offering free use of our changing facilities and showers for runners who wish to use them, if you wish to use a locker you will need to bring your own small padlock or you can purchase one from behind reception.

Three different running groups will be set up to cater for all levels of abilities and speeds, Beginners, Intermediate (slow and fast) and Advanced. A brief description below should help you identify which group you are most suitable for:

This group will be very much for those who wish to take up running / jogging and get started. The routes will be approximately 2 miles (no more than 3) and will consist of jogging with walking intervals. They will take place in the surrounding parks mainly (Leazes and Exhibition) and should last no longer than 30 minutes.

This group will be aimed at an intermediate level of runners. This group is ideal for those who have run before but are in need of a new challenge to help them get to the next level and reach their goals. These routes will be approximately 3-4 miles and will consist of jogging throughout. They will take place in the surrounding parks and Town Moor and should last approximately 30-40minutes.

This group is for those who are experienced runners and been running a regular routine for a while. This group will be made up of individuals who desire to maintain their current fitness levels and reach new levels through running with other experienced runners and different routes on a regular basis.
These routes will be approximately 4-6 miles and will involve a decent pace of running throughout. They will take place in the surrounding parks, the Town Moor and suitable areas of the city and should last no longer than 45 minutes.

This is an ideal opportunity for would be runners and beginners to get involved in what is becoming a mass participation sport to improve fitness, health and social activity.  Running is not just for the elite but also the beginner.
So if you are looking to:-

  • Improve health and fitness to give yourself a sense of well-being
  • Get into better shape
  • Compete in races from 'Race for life' (5k) up to Marathon distances
  • Take up an inexpensive sport
  • Have the opportunity to meet like-minded people at a similar fitness-level; and
  • Join a friendly running club

Join the Healthy Campus 2010 Running Club.

Although the club is free of charge and you are welcome to attend which sessions you like, when you like, can anyone who is interested contact the Sports Centre on 0191 222 7225 to register their interest so we can gage the level of take up for each group. You will also be placed onto a mailing distribution list where updates will be emailed out to you on a weekly basis to inform runners of routes and other useful information.


Useful Information

The most important thing you need for running is a pair of decent running shoes that suit you and your running style.
Shoes are a common cause of injury, either from buying the wrong model or using a shoe beyond its effective life. Simple things like buying a big enough shoe can prevent a host of toe and foot problems brought on by an ill-fitting model.
There’s no single ‘best shoe’ and they vary as much as prescription spectacles do. You can get cushioned shoes, stability shoes, motion control shoes, performance training shoes, racing shoes and off-road shoes. There are also over 150 different specialist running shoes to choose from so finding the right model can be a daunting task but you can make the task easier by shopping at specialist running store where you can get informed, relevant and practical advice.
It is also important that you don't run in worn out shoes. Most running shoes usually last between 400 to 500 miles before the cushioning inside no longer performs efficiently, although from the outside they may look fine. You shoe’s life expectancy varies depending on the type of shoe, your weight, your foot-strike pattern, and the surfaces you run on. Don't wait until your only pair is worn out. It’s also a good idea to buy a new pair and rotate them for a while.
There’s no set running uniform, pick what you feel comfortable in. Depending upon your budget, you may prefer to purchase tops & shorts made from material that is breathable and takes the sweat away from your skin. It’s worth spending a bit more on this so called technical kit as it means that you will stay drier and more comfortable when running. Cotton tee-shirts can very heavy and cold when wet with sweat!
Women often choose Lycra shorts or tights; and non-cotton clothes help you stay drier. Women should buy a high-support sports bra (the more comfortable you are, the more you’ll run!). This one comes down to a personal choice as to which one suits you the best so again seek assistance at a specialist running shop or check out the internet sites.
If you would normally wear sunglasses on a hot sunny day, wear them when you run as it’s just as important to protect your eyes when you’re running.
The answer to this question really depends upon who you are talking to.  However, it is important to have a good and well balanced diet. Training for long distance runs can take a lot out of your body and it is therefore important that you replenish you body’s reserves.
On the dietary side, minimise the amount of fat in your diet; drink water with every meal; don’t skip breakfast; eat more often and don’t overeat at any sitting. The fuel for runners is carbohydrates which are found in pasta, potatoes, and bread to name but a few. 
You should wait for about two hours after a meal before running as this will allow the for food to empty from the stomach, especially if it's high in carbohydrate, If you don't wait long enough, food will not be properly digested, raising the risk of abdominal cramps, bloating, and even vomiting.
The best way to lose weight is through a combination of sensible eating and increased exercise. Running is the most efficient calorie burner around - A 12-stone man running at nine minutes/mile burns 500 calories in around 35 minutes.
Probably the most important thing is to drink lots of water. In normal conditions you can lose about 2 litres a day through the body's processes. So get in to the habit of drinking plenty of fluids, not just while you are running but all the time. Your body needs time to absorb and store the water that you need when running. Waiting to drink until you feel thirsty or until you start exercise is too late. When running your muscles generate heat and in order for your body to maintain its constant temperature of 37oC it sweats to cool the body down.  During prolonged running you body can lose between 1 to 2 litres of water an hour.  It is therefore vital that you take on water during your run. If you suddenly slow you to a crawl or you have bad runs on some days and good runs on others it may be because you aren’t drinking enough. On all your long runs carry a water bottle.

Tips for Runners:
There are a number of tips to assist beginners to running.
Build Steadily.  To become a better runner you will have to increase the amount of time or mileage you do.  To push hard too soon will only lead to injuries and exhaustion: this will not help help you improve.  It is recommended by many to not increase your overall weekly mileage by more than 10 per cent or 2 - 3 miles.  This rule applies to experienced runners too.
Warm up and cool down.  Running and exercise stretches your muscles and to stretch a muscle that is unprepared can cause an injury.  It is recommended that 5 - 10 minutes of walking or slow jogging is sufficient to prepare your muscles for the hard work ahead.  A similar process is suggested at the end of your run to help your muscles flush out the lactic acid and help your recovery.
Stretch.  After warming up or cooling down is a good time to stretch your muscles.  Having flexible muscles is one of the best ways to stave off an injury.  A lack of flexibility is a major contributor to several of the most common running injuries.  Stretching also helps to ease those stiffening muscles at the end of a run.
Speed Work.  Speed work usually takes the form of sprinting short distances or up hills.  This helps to increase your pain threshold, stamina and speed for those longer runs.  It is considered a vital part of the training for any long distance runner!