How to Start Running and Enjoy It
How do you start running? The flippant answer would be put one foot in front of the other and go!
But that doesn’t really help much.
If you want to start running, and enjoy it, take a look at my top tips to keep you running and keep you happy!
Have a Goal
Having a goal is a fantastic way to make sure you keep on track when you start to run.
It could be as simple as being able to run to the end of the road without stopping, or to run a 5k race in a few months time. Whatever it may be, and however small or big it may seem, having a goal will really keep you going.
And when you set yourself a goal, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell someone you know, preferably someone who will support you and not someone who will tell you that you can’t do it!
And if you don’t feel confident enough to tell someone, then write it down and put it someplace where you will see it everday.
Follow a Plan
Having a plan is essential when starting to run. Yes, you can just put on your trainers and run, but there is a chance that you will over do it, have an injury or just not enjoy yourself.
A plan will take you from not running at all to running 5k in 8-10 weeks and it will do so in a progressive way.
Many people find that knowing how long they have to run each week is really encouraging. Plus with a plan you will be able to look back and see just how much you have achieved.
There are many apps and free Couch to 5k plans that will get you going, but another option is to join a beginners running group or work with a running coach.
What motivates you?
What is going to help you go out of that door when it’s dark, raining and you’ve had a really busy day? Working out your motivation can really help you when you just don’t feel like running.
Do you want to get fit to keep up with your kids?
Or do you want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath (that’s what motivated me to first start running).
Perhaps you want to be active to help your physical and mental health.
Or maybe it’s doing an activity with friends
Knowing what motivates you will help you to keep going.
Wear what’s comfortable
You should feel comfortable in what you wear when running. You don’t need new or expensive kit, old leggings and a t-shirt will do to get you started.
But as you start running more often you might want to think about buying some new gear to keep you comfortable and confident.
For clothes, look for items that are made from a wicking material (ie it will keep the sweat away from your body). You don’t need to splash out and buy big brands. Many high street shops and supermarkets sell activewear which are just as good as the well known brands.
For women, a supportive sports bra is essential. Bras designed for high impact sports will offer the right support and can be bought in many shops, or on specialist websites such as boobydoo.com.
Look after your feet
Your feet go through a lot, even more so when you run. So looking after them is essential.
Although you can start running wearing whatever trainers you have to hand (as long as they aren’t falling to pieces and have enough support in them!), I do recommend investing in a pair of trainers made for running. These will not only look after your feet but can also reduce the risk of injury.
If you can get to a running shop, try and book a gait analysis. This is where you are filmed running on a treadmill to see how your feet run. This will help to find the trainers with the right level of support for you. Just make sure you try on a few pairs to find the ones that are most comfortable.
Listen to your Body
And finally, do listen to your body. If you are following a plan and find the runs in week 6 a bit too difficult, then just repeat week 5. There are no rules to say you can’t repeat things until you are more comfortable and confident.
When you first start out running you are bound to get aches as your body gets used to new exercise. But if those aches are turning into pains that get worse as you run then think about taking a rest for a few days. Likewise, if you have a chesty cold then take it easy and rest up, the run will wait until you get better.
Listening to your body will ensure you not only enjoy your runs, but keep any injuries at bay.
And if you are looking for a running coach to help you with your running, whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced racer, do get in touch to find out more about my coaching.