The Amateur Runners Guide to Success

Written By: Oxenford Physiotherapist, Chris Stack. 

You may have recently started running, been inconsistent with running for some time or you have just started considering to get into get into running and thought ‘why not a better time than Exercise Week?’

But before you lace up those joggers for the next run, there are a few essentials you should consider.

This blog aims to highlight the “DOs and DON’Ts” of running no matter how experienced you may be.


  • Warm up / cool down
    • Reduces lactic acid build up to avoid muscle soreness and stiffness
    • Reduces risk of injury
  • Cross train
    • Incorporate strength exercises to help build a strong core to avoid injuries and help improve form and efficiency
    • Some exercises to get you started: Squats, lunges, single leg heel raises, single leg hops, resisted side steps, plank, side plank, single leg bridges
    • Aim for 1-2 strength training sessions a week
  • Soft surfaces
    • Running on grass is a great way to get started. It reduces the impact of each foot strike and improves strength and stabilisation of the feet and ankles (your joints will thank you for this one)
  • Invest in good quality shoes
    • Match the type of shoe to the style of running you’re doing i.e., fast sprints or long distance, trail or roads.
    • If you believe your shoes are causing you pain with running, a Physiotherapist can help recommend the right shoe style as well as assess whether it is the shoe or other factors contributing to your running related pains
  • Seek professional advice
    • Dealing with any injuries? Or simply need advice on correct footwear and training loads? Visit one of our friendly Physiotherapists’ so you don’t have to hang up the running shoes just yet.
    • Our Exercise Physiologist can also help with running progressions and strength training
    • Our dietician will also be able to assist if you have difficulty providing your body with the nutrition it needs to avoid fatigue/ burnout and help you perform optimally


  • Compare yourself to others
    • Apps like Strava are great for tracking your progress, sending out a ‘Kudos’ to your mates, trying to push yourself for faster times along segments and monitoring your pace - but be sure not to overdo it!
    • Remember to gradually build up and take your time with progressions
  • Overdo it
    • One golden rule in the early stages of running is to gradually increase distance or pace – never both at the same time
    • Not giving yourself enough rest will lead you possibly unmotivated and injured

3 Rules to Live by:

1. Play the long game by running as easy as possible in the early weeks and months.

To improve your running, consistency is the key ingredient. Injuries can cause unwanted setbacks leading to inconsistent training. To help avoid injuries, give your body time to adapt to running. In the early days, run as easy and short as possible. Then, very, very gradually increase pace and distance to your runs.

2. Set achievable goals that help build good habits.

Our minds love positive feedback. Set simple goals that you know you can easily achieve. Over time, gradually push the goals to become challenging. This is a great way to effectively give yourself positive feedback and create lasting habits.

3. Enjoy It! 

  • Have achievable goals
  • Listen to music / podcasts
  • Run with a friend or join a park run on the weekend (there are plenty on the Gold Coast)
  • Change from your normal route
  • Listen to your body and give it enough rest, nutrition, water and sleep to help with recovery.

Book an appointment with Chris Stack HERE