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20th Dec 2016

The Lovin Dublin Running Guide – Clontarf


January is probably the most popular time of year for people to take up running, people are full of motivation and New Year’s resolutions to uphold. Running is a great activity to take up for so many reasons including the fact that it’s free, you can do it anywhere and it helps you to explore new parts of your city. Dublin has so many stunning areas to explore, that we decided to put together a 4 week running guide covering 4 of our favourite locations for a run in the city.


We’ve teamed up with FLYE Fit to put together this guide along with some expert running and nutrition tips. While not all of these running routes may be near your home, we think it’s worth taking a trip somewhere different for a run at the weekends for a change of scene. When you’re surrounded by so many beautiful sights and sounds, it’s hard not to stay motivated.

We decided to start with a nice run along Clontarf strand so you can fill your lungs with some sea air as you blow away the last of the Christmas cobwebs. Personal trainer, Kristian Breen, of FLYE Fit has provided us with some fitness and nutrition tips for anyone looking to take up running, or getting back into it after a prolonged break.


Warming up:

It is important to do a warm up before you start to exercise. A good warm up prepares your body for a run in a few ways: it increases blood supply to the muscles; it increases synovial fluid to the joints (which acts like an oil to lubricate the joints); and it also stimulates you to focus on the exercise you will be performing. Everybody has a slightly different routine and there is no right or wrong way to warm up as long as you’re feeling loose, limber and warm before you start your run. You need to loosen up, gaining mobility in the joints, hips, shoulders and knees; for example, a fast walk for 5-10 minutes followed by arm swings.


Quad stretch:

This can be done either laying down on your front or standing, bring one leg toward the glutes making sure that you do not point your hips down to make it easier, try keep them facing forward to increase the stretch.

Hamstring stretch:

Touch your toes while keeping your legs straight, focus on not curling your back. (Note: if you find the stretch gives a sharp pain in the back of your knee it could be neural tightness, not the hamstrings. Try pressing on the area that is tight while bending and straightening the leg to relieve the tension).

Groin stretch:

Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together and gently push the knees towards the floor.


Running tips.

  1. Walk before you run! For the first four weeks you should have a 5-15 minute warm-up walk before starting a light jog for up to 20 minutes followed by a cool-down stroll.
  2. Make sure you run/walk at least three times a week, you won’t really benefit if you do less than this. However, don’t run if you’re unwell, as this might increase the time you’ll take to recover.
  3. Don’t run two days in a row for the first two months. Give your muscles and tendons a chance to adapt to running.
  4. Run for time, not distance. Your running program should be designed to gradually increase the time you spend on your feet, rather than the kilometres.
  5. Go at your own pace, if you’re out of breath your running time should be cut.

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Nutrition Tips.


Eat the right kind of carbohydrates. Carbs are essential to any runner’s diet as they are one of the main sources of energy. Not all types of carbs will do, runners need to be focus on consuming complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates will provide you with a balanced source of energy and, most importantly, will not cause any blood sugar spikes which can leave you feeling worn-out at the end of a run. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are great examples of complex carbs.


Proteins are essential for building and repairing muscles. A good general rule of thumb is that after a long run you will need to consume 1.2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds that you weigh. There are various types of protein out there but if you’re looking to lose body fat it is important to focus on high quality lean protein. Skinless chicken breasts, tuna, eggs and cottage cheese are great examples of lean proteins, you could always try this mushroom and spinach omelette.

Balanced Meals:

While consuming the right kind of carbs and lean high quality proteins is crucial to properly fuelling your body, it is just as important to properly balance this intake. For most runners it is ideal to have 60% to 65% of your calorie intake made up of complex carbohydrates, 15% to 20% of protein and no more than 20% to 25% of fat, which should come from healthy sources such as coconut oil, olive oil and avocados.


We hope that you find this running guide useful and that it inspires you to head out to Clontarf this weekend for a nice run. Stay posted for our next three routes every Saturday this month which will be packed with more fitness and nutrition advice.


All Helly Hansen running gear was provided by The Great Outdoors.