A lot of people would like to run and run faster and have stamina to complete a 5k or 10k run or even a marathon. Ever heard the phrase though, ‘don’t run before you can walk?’
In this special blog post, we share 10 top tips for beginner runners to make sure you stay on track and don’t give up too early.
Understand why you want to run
Why do you want to run? If you don’t ask yourself this, then the motivation just won’t last. It can be anything from you just wanting to give it a go, you want to get fitter, you want to run a race for charity or you want to take up serious running. Your ‘why’ will help keep you going when you just don't feel like venturing out.
Find the right running shoes
An obvious one but running shoes, and ones that fit correctly, are really important. Don't just pick up a pair of shoes without getting fitted properly. If you are prone to injury such as shin splints, weak ankles etc. it’s even more important to get fitted correctly. There are plenty of specialist running shops now that will record you to check your posture and running style, and then fit you with appropriate shoes.
Choose the right running clothes
Wear appropriate clothing. If it’s raining, get yourself a lightweight jacket and one which you can be seen in if it goes dark. Good clothing can be make or break, particularly in wet weather. There can be nothing worse than being unnecessarily soaked wet through when you are out training.
Learn road safety for runners
If you are running along a main road, then remember to look before you cross. So many runners can get carried away listening to music and go to run across the road because they are in the ‘zone’. Remember to be aware of the traffic and look before you cross, without underestimating how far away the cars are. Safety should always be your priority.
Slow and steady wins the race (at first)
If you are competitive, it’s easy to start off really fast and compete against yourself. Don’t. Take it easy, start off slowly and then get faster towards the end if you must. Don’t do too many runs for the first few weeks either, your shins will thank you for it. A burst of high impact exercise when you are not used to it can do more harm than good.
Finding a comfortable sports bra
Women, please get fitted properly for a decent sports bra. You will be more comfortable running when you wear one. Ordinary bras just won’t give you the support you need so it’s an investment worth making.
Get a light to run at night
If you are running along a pitch black road, or even just in the winter where street lighting is low, get yourself a head torch. Not only will you be able to see blips in the surface better to avoid them, you will be able to see exactly where you are going. Traffic, people, cyclists and dogs will be able to see you coming and avoid you so you don’t have to break up your running rhythm.
Join A Running Club
The benefits of joining a running club include the fact that you are likely to be put into a group of people who are at the same stage as you. It keeps you all motivated, as well as helping you build up your pace and stamina in a controlled way. Many people find it much easier than running alone so give it a go.
Keep a diary of your runs
Keep a diary and write down how you feel after each time you run, how far you ran and how long it took you. You will be able to look back and see how far you have come and it will urge you to do better and beat your personal best. There are several mobile apps available to help you with this too, such as Strava and RunKeeper.
One of the best ways to get started, particularly if you haven't run before, is to do a run/walk distance. Run for 10 minutes, walk for 5 minutes and alternate them. By walking, we mean maintaining some speed but you can build up your stamina whilst easing yourself into it this way.
If you really want to become a pro after you have started, get yourself a running coach who will be able to also advise on nutrition and supplements and hold you accountable to do what you agreed to do.
Hopefully these tips will help you get started on your running journey!