Getting into running can feel daunting, and people often let themselves get discouraged before giving their body the chance to settle in and begin loving it.
Follow these top tips and you’ll be craving the endorphins in no-time.
1. Take it easy
When you’re just starting up, don’t start sprinting down the street as soon as you’re out the door. Holding a conversation while running is a good way of making sure you’re training aerobically (with enough oxygen), which will allow you to enjoy your entire session. The general rule is if you’re breathing every 4-5 words, you’re running aerobically; anything close to 2 or 3 words means you’re probably running anaerobically, and the lactic acid building up in your legs won’t feel nice when you turn the corner at the end of the block.
Don’t be afraid of the Run/Walk method. Set yourself targets before you start, for example, warm up for 5 minutes, then run for 3 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, and repeat this for the duration of your session. Next time, try running for 4 minutes and walking for 2, etc. You’ll be running throughout your session before you know it.
2. Think about Technique
Running technique isn’t just for the pros, and it can save you from injury if you get it right early-on.
When you’re running, make sure you’re standing up straight, and focus on pushing your hips forward. Try landing your feet underneath your hips rather than too far in front of you, and make sure you’re pumping your arms as you run, focussing on driving your elbows back and up as they’re moving.
3. Invest in good socks
No one likes blisters, and they can quickly stop you from wanting to put your trainers on when your alarm goes off ahead of an early-morning running session. Make sure you’re wearing proper running shoes, not just the flat-soled trainers you wear to the gym, and get yourself a good pair of thick running socks; they’ll be a very good investment.
4. Think about your rest and recovery
Running several times a week will mean your body needs a bit more time and energy to recover, so make sure you’re adjusting your sleep schedule and nutritional intake accordingly. Sleep is critical for injury prevention and muscle recovery, so rather than cutting your sleep time by an hour to get your new running session in before work, make sure you are going to bed an hour earlier. Within 40 minutes of the end of your session, eat or drink some protein to aid with muscle recovery.
5. Explore new places
Running will allow you to explore and discover new places – make the most of it and vary your runs to keep yourself excited and motivated. Find a hill near you to run at sunrise or sunset, or explore a new neighbourhood.
6. Keep track of your progress
Keeping track of your progress will help keep you motivated throughout your training. You can either use a logbook of your own, or use an app like Strava which will track your runs and automatically give you all the stats you can dream of (don’t worry, you can set your profile to be completely private if you want to keep all the information to yourself).
7. Don’t let a bad run define you
Everyone has bad days. Sometimes your legs will feel heavy and other times you’ll be out of breath much faster than usual. Don’t let a bad run define you; it’s usually just a sign that your body is busy recovering or fighting off something else. Listen to your body. It’s good mental work to push through a difficult run, but, if you’re really struggling, take it easy. Don’t get demoralized; you’ll be sure to feel better the next time you put your running shoes on.
Want any training support? Get in touch and we’ll help you every step of the way.