Entering the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k?
Here are running expert and former athlete Gareth Turnbull’s top training tips

How should I prepare?

Always be realistic with the time you can commit to train. If you can manage one weekday and one weekend run, then that’s brilliant. The important thing is to develop an achievable routine and then stick to it. Life will, of course, occasionally get in the way! However, building up your training in a structured way will always get you the best results. Wear light and thin multi-layered running clothing as one heavier item will cause you to sweat too much and potentially weigh you down in wet conditions, as well as retaining sweat. Also, protect those extremities! A good running hat and gloves will prove your favourite items of clothing in colder conditions.

Consider looking at setting out consistent time markers (splits) for your run. This way you won’t run too fast too soon and by trusting your watch, you can tick off each km in a specific time, knowing you will have enough energy to see yourself to the finish. Often, it’s not about speeding up, rather just learning how not to slow down!

How can I push myself but avoid injury?

Always remember to know the difference between stiffness and soreness. Any training programme will often leave you feeling tired or a little stiff in the morning or after exercise. However, a good stretching routine pre and post exercise should alleviate this. When such stiffness turns into pain then it’s time to stop in the short term and seek the opinion of a registered physiotherapist. You will always want to run, but you should know your boundaries. A couple of days off to heal a strain or sprain could be the difference between making it to the start line – and over the finish line! So, be sensible – relax and trust in your training. You can do this!

Tips provided by Gareth Turnbull on behalf of Simplyhealth, title partner of the Great Run series. Entries for the 2018 Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 13 May are open!