howtostartrunning

Dust off your trainers because today we are talking about how to run! It’s a question I get asked a lot so I thought I would write it up into a handy blog post.

Wear something you feel comfortable in.
You don’t want to be spending your first run adjusting ill-fitting clothes. If you are running in the dark make sure you wear something reflective or hi vis so you are visible. If you feel self conscious and feel like everyone is watching you on a run then wear a hat. It’s awkward knowing where to look if you feel like passers by are watching. The peak of a cap will shield your gaze from the stares.  (They are only staring because you are AWESOME).

You don’t need lots of fancy equipment to start running. But PLEASE invest in a good pair of shoes. See this post for more info.

Music makes the miles go faster
Fill your iPod with all your favourite songs, a podcast or an audio book. It will take your mind off the actual exercise.

Invest in a running belt
Sometimes you have to carry a lot when you are running, keys, water bottle, phone / iPod, gloves etc. Try to keep as less in your hands as possible.
Things can flap around in pockets and feel uncomfortable a flip belt is a great investment or you can pick up running ‘bum bag’ (retro I know) in most sports shops.

Find the right route
Find a route that feels comfortable for you and that you know well. For a beginner I’d recommend somewhere that is flat and circular – that way you have to complete the full loop. If you are running back passed your house the temptation will be to go back home and put the kettle on!

Start with a comfortable walk and build up from there
It is very tempting to enthusiastically head out and run as fast as you can. The best way to start is to start slow. Try a brisk 5 minute walk as a warm up and then follow a run/walk plan. Finish with a 5 minute walk as a cool down and stretch at the end.

Building up gradually reduces the risk of injury. There are plenty of couch to 5k apps which are fantastic for beginners. Follow one of these and you will soon be able to manage a mile without stopping.

Don’t go too far too soon.
Once you’ve completed a mile don’t make your next aim two. You are essentially doubling the distance! Again build up slowly 1.25, 1.5. 1.75, 2 miles etc.
For a beginner I’d recommend 2-3 times a week for around 20-30 minutes each time including a warm up / cool down then increase once you feel comfortable.

Listen to your body
You are going to ache and your legs will feel a little sore, you may get out of breath or even get a stitch. Stop and have a drink of water or add an extra few seconds of walking in if you need to. On the other hand if you feel comfortable and could go a little further then do that too. If you feel you can’t manage what is on the plan, then adapt it to suit you.

Fuel your runs
No ones going to feel great eating junk food. A healthy balanced diet with plenty of lean protein will keep you energised whilst on a run. Remember to stay hydrated – water, water and more water! You want to have eaten about an hour before you head out.

Be patient
You may not ‘get it right away’ and it won’t create instant results, but don’t give up! Keep at it you will soon see and feel the benefits.

Buddy up
Running with a friend is great. You are less likely to bail if you’ve agreed to meet up with others. Alternatively you can join a local running club, they’re not super scary – honest! I am a run leader at Fitmums and Friends – we are a very friendly and supportive running club with  groups located across the UK.

Parkrun
These are free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. Every saturday morning at 9am – you can find one near you here.

I hope you found this helpful and I look forward to seeing all of your running selfies!

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