For those about to run - I salute you

We are all "Born to Run". We all possess all of the necessary equipment for successfull running at birth. Go on, lace up... get out of the door... free up the runner within.

This article is aimed at those people who have tried running in the past and never got on with it. If you never found the rhythm, never experienced 'the runners high', or never got through the pain barrier to enjoy yourself while running - read on.

The most common mistake people make when trying to get into a new sport is overdoing it. Granted, if you want to start - you have got to start somewhere, which means running. If you are suffering from serious lack of fitness, carrying too much weight, have suffered with shin splints or foot problems in the past, DO NOT try and run 5 miles straight off the bat. You will hurt, you will feel horrible the next few days and most of all you will not have any fun.

To get started you must go EASY. See, you have to be realistic and not reach for the moon straight away. Think of this as a project that may take a number of months to complete. The time frame depends on your current levels of fitness, history of sport participation and health status, but realistically we are talking about a few months before you can think about covering 5 miles and having fun while doing it. Let's break it down to a few weeks at a time.

The first 2 weeks:

Find a loop close to your home or work, maybe between 1 Km and 1 mile in distance. Set off WALKING at an easy pace and for every 200 meters or 1/8 mile RUN 20 steps, and then carry on walking again. Please review the running technique article and view the video tutorial to ensure good running technique. Running on the midfoot is important, as it reduces likelihood of injuries in the long term and facilitates better performance in the future. It is much better to get into good habits early. Keep an eye on your breathing as you walk and run. You should try and breathe in through the nose, and blow out through the mouth (if needed). Also review the breathing article on my website.

Weeks 3 to 6:

Gradually increase the number of running during your walk/run. Keep the distance the same for the time being, but you should aim to double the amount of running. This will help boost your fitness levels efficiently, as this qualifies as low impact interval training. The beauty of interval training is, that the beneficial effects on the heart rate, muscle development and metabolism will be sustained for hours after you stop. You will see results more quickly than you would if you were to maintain constant pace. As you gradually ease into running, you allow your feet, ankles, achilles tendons, legs and back to get used to it instead of being jolted into action. This will reduce soreness after exercise and the likelihood of injuring yourself.

Weeks 7 to 12:

You can now start increasing the distance. First do two laps instead of one with less running. Then increase the amount of running during the two laps. As you feel stronger and able to tackle more distance you can go up to three laps, again increasing the amount of running gradually. At this point you can probably do a full lap of running. Stay focused on your technique, stay light on your feet and keep your stride short. Over striding can be very detrimental to your technique at this stage, as the temptation is there to start heel-striking.

Weeks 13 to 20:

You should be able to start doing full laps of running quite comfortably now. Try and resist the urge to cover too much distance, instead you can bring up the intensity of your training by picking up the pace. Remember to keep your stride and technique under control. Over striding leads to loss of control, which leads to injuries. Remember to breathe.

Week 20 onwards:

You should be able to start increasing you distance and pace now.

Because this way of easing into running utilises short distance you should try and get out most days. If you are seriously unfit, you may need to start with alternate days of walk/run and rest, but for most people two rest days in the week should be sufficient. Do not rest for two consecutive days. As you are learning a new skill, you need to keep practising it often - this allows your brain and the nervous system to make the appropriate changes. Doing one or two sessions per week is not enough to facilitate any significant changes.

A couple of points to remember:

1. Take it easy - don't overdo it. "If it feels like hard work, you are working too hard."

2. Technique is everything. Review the running technique article on my website, and watch the running tutorial regularly to remind yourself of the correct technique.

3. Calculate your optimal training heart rate zone regularly. This will help you get the best results. Also wear the heart rate monitor to ensure you are in the correct zone whilst training.

4. Keep hydrated, keep nourished. Your body needs the fluids and the food to recover, to renew and to develop.

5. In case you suffer with blisters, read the relevant article on my website.

6. Practise does not make you perfect - perfect practise makes you perfect.

7. ENJOY YOURSELF!!! This is a very positive thing you are doing. You are taking control of your situation and life as well as learning a new skill.


If you have any questions, need further advice, or wish make an appointment for running technique assessment, please get in touch with us at the clinic. Call 01932 - 429584 or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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I was in so much pain last week I couldn’t imagine that I would feel this much better in 7 days
Heather Penncock

I first went to Mika About 2 months ago. I could not walk straight line or very far. I was also in pain as I have had two knee replacements. After about 3 weeks I can now walk upright and in a straight line. Also a lot of pain relief. I cannot recommend this practice enough.
Frank Whittington

I have been working with Dr Mika Janhunen of Shepperton Chirorpactic Clinic for four years. During this time he has not only been able to help me overcome various niggling injuries and to enjoy better health, but has been able to improve the performance of a number of my golf coaching clients as well. His detailed knowledge of the human body and the complexity of the golf swing movement pattern is virtually unrivalled in terms of results that I have ever seen. I will continue to refer my players to see Mika, and would encourage anyone to do the same.
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