Having the goal of wanting to take up running is a great one to have but it is not necessarily as simple as just putting on your trainers and running for some people.
Indeed, getting started can actually be the hardest thing especially if you’ve not run before and it is more or less totally new to you.
That’s why this article is here to help!
Here are five quickfire tips that will make it easier for you to not only start as a first-time runner, but become a competent beginner in next to no time. Here’s hoping you’ll soon have that runner’s buzz.
Start slow and have a plan – We all go through different fads and interests in life but often plenty fall by the wayside and don’t become hobbies you’ll always do and enjoy. Instead of just trying to go for your very first run or perhaps a run for the first time in many years, before that, make a small plan and log the days in which you are going to run each week.
Establishing some form of routine and regularity is good, rather than running on an ad-hoc basis when it is easier to just ditch the idea of cardio workout altogether. There are plenty of apps out there which will help you crucially build up very slowly.
Try and embrace what you hate, or change things – There might be plenty of aspects of running you don’t like, such as not feeling comfortable in your training gear, disliking running outside or treadmills in gyms.
Only you can determine what works for you; i.e. running with headphones and an armband, or morning over evening, but seek to find the perfect formula that will give you the best chance of getting into running.
Run with a friend or in a group – There is nothing more motivating than linking up with pals and enjoying the experience of running. By agreeing to run with people or attend certain sessions, there is more accountability to your running and it isn’t as easy to Whatsapp a mate and say you’re not going to be there last-minute, is it?!
It is a rewarding and confidence-building experience running with people, with social media now giving you a great platform and opportunity to document your positive progress.
Work towards a target – Not all of us are lucky enough to gain entry into the London Marathon, but that is one such example of a long-term goal which would keep you on the straight and narrow, and motivate you to achieve an amazing feat.
No matter how big or small the target is, sign up for a race or log a date in your diary a couple of months ahead of time to do some kind of fun run. This can really help with motivation as you quickly become aware that failure to run and train properly will affect you on race day. Doing something charity-related is something I’d recommend.
Don’t judge, analyse or criticise your progress / running – We can all be our own worst critic at times and demand more from ourselves. This is fine if you’re an advanced runner and know which buttons to press in order to maximise your potential, but for newbies, you just want to go with the flow, start from scratch and enjoy the process of running without critiquing everything.
Yes, advice, hints and tips will help you progress, as well as speaking to other runners, but don’t expect too much too soon and place the pressure of a race day experience, for example, on your shoulders when you’re not ready. It’s OK to stop and walk during a run or end a session early – no one is going to think less of you!