I was never a natural runner, I hated PE at school and couldn’t understand why anyone would actually choose to go for a run but then I caught the fitness bug. Running built up from something I felt I had to do as part of my fitness regime to something I actually love.
There was a few bumps in the road and it took me a while to feel comfortable with running, I really wish I’d have done a bit of research before I started out so here’s 10 of the best tips for newbie runners that I wish I had of known
DON’T RUN BEFORE YOU CAN WALK
Seriously, when I first started running I literally just started running and was exhausted within minutes. You need to take your time to build up your stamina, it’s far better to walk then run in short bursts and build up from there. It’s so easy to feel downhearted and give up when you don’t have the energy or pace straight away but you’ve got to be realistic, it takes a little time but you’ll get there.
IT GETS EASIER
It really does, once you’ve started reducing your walking time and building your running time you’ll realise that it does get easier each time. The key is just to move at a comfortable pace for a reasonable amount of time and keep building from there.
GET SOME DECENT RUNNING GEAR
You don’t have to spend an absolute fortune but you do need a decent pair of trainers and socks otherwise you’ll end up with blisters and sore feet. I’m currently using my Nike Air Relentless 3 but I’m definitely due a new pair.
Us girls also need a good sports bra no matter what your bra size, it can be really painful when you are not properly supported. I also like to run in a pair of seamless leggings and depending on the weather either a vest top or running jacket.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
I made this mistake when I first started running, I didn’t plan my route & just set off and made the mistake of running downhill at the start & uphill on the way home!
Also, I find that if I just set off without knowing my route that I either get tempted to cut it short, or don’t realise how far it actually was so end up halfway through and turning back, both of which just make you feel like you’ve failed and less likely to run again.
If you plan the distance and route, you have more self control. You can decide if it was long enough and perhaps build in a longer route next time, or if it was too much instead of giving up you can adjust it next time.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Tracking your progress is a great way to kickstart the motivation, especially if you’re just starting out running. I like to use the Map My Run app or my FitBit Flex, it’s great to be able to see exactly how far you’ve run and how many calories you’ve burnt. Plus you can track your progress over a period of time and see how much you have improved.
RUNNING OUTSIDE IS HARDER THAN THE TREADMILL
You really don’t realise the difference until your first outdoors run, the hills, the uneven ground, the sun, the wind! It’s completely different to running on the treadmill and much harder, but that said, I love both.
I love the treadmill as I can really build up speed and pound the belt, I just can’t run to the same pace outside but running outside really makes a difference in my strength & endurance. Plus it can really help with muscle definition. A combination of both really works well for me.
MAKE YOURSELF A PLAYLIST
I love to run to Chase and Status or Pendulum and I like it loud. I haven’t really found any other music that I can really run too. I’ve tried some of the running playlists on Spotify but they just don’t get me moving in the same way.
Choose music that YOU can run to and it should keep you motivated. Sometimes I can feel myself slowing then a certain track comes on and I’m back off again!
MAKE SURE YOU WARM UP & COOL DOWN
I like to walk for a few minutes before and after my run building my pace, plus once I get home I like to do a few yoga stretches to ease my legs and back. Don’t just start & stop as you will get sore and can end up injuring yourself.
TAKE A REST DAY BETWEEN RUNS
Once you get into running you might want to get out more but you need to give your body time to rest and recover, especially in the beginning as you don’t want to cause an injury and set back all the good work you’ve done.
It’s going to be hard to start with but keep going, keep pushing yourself. You will get fitter and stronger, you will run faster & longer and you will feel awesome about it!
Have you got any other tips or advice to add?