Saturday, December 5, 2020
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


Good footwear is the secret weapon to a successful run.

Christine Blanchette's tips for staying on track

In my I introduced Christine Blanchette. Blanchette is a running instructor who has helped many athletes reach success, from conquering…

By Rebecca Cheung , in The Long Run: Sisters in training , on March 18, 2010 Tags: , , ,

In my I introduced Christine Blanchette.

Blanchette is a running instructor who has helped many athletes reach success, from conquering five kilometre races to marathons.

My current fitness goal involves during this summer’s . To do this, I need a strategy. So I met with Blanchette for some expert advice.

Here are some tips she thinks every new runner should know:

Tip 1: Run with proper footwear.

[/caption]

“Footwear is so important,” Blanchette said. “You have to get proper running shoes or it will cause injury.”

I purchased my cross trainers from an athletics shoe store that was widely recommended by my running friends. The clerk who helped me was a former marathoner who observed my walking patterns and studied the arches of my feet.

Because of his help, I’m now running with the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever owned.

This is especially important since comfortable shoes have been shown to reduce injury and decrease a runner’s oxygen consumption during training, according to .

Tip 2:  Practice good running posture.

Blanchette also said that many athletes unknowingly run lopsided or with their shoulders seized up. This can cause considerable strain on a runner’s upper body.

“You have to be relaxed when you run,” Blanchette said. “You can get stressed really easily.”

To combat running-induced tension, athletes should consider working with a coach. Runners like Jim Freim from Trail Runner Magazine .

Tip 3:  Maintain an adequate standard of nutrition.

Skipping meals is another common mistake many student runners make, Blanchette said. This bad habit can severely limit a runner’s energy levels and running capacity.

Some strategies I’ve used to stay on top of my nutrition include:

  • scheduling time to eat meals
  • packing healthy snacks like granola bars and trail mix in my backpack
  • checking sites like for quick, healthy meal ideas
  • consulting a doctor on the appropriate caloric intake for my lifestyle

Tip 4: Resist overtraining.

[/caption]

Finally, Blanchette said that many new runners have a tendency to over train and burn out.

“I would run every day and that was totally wrong,” Blanchette said.

She frequently advises her students to listen to their bodies and set the pace accordingly.

“Give your body time. Don’t rush,” Blanchette said. “Enjoy the journey.”