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Top ten tips to start running

You might think you hate running, or that you're not good at it. But give it another go following these tips, and you might just change your mind...

This is the first of two articles I am going to write about this because running was my gateway into exercise, and therefore is an activity that I hold dear to my heart. I have run several 10k races, three half marathons and Edinburgh marathon a couple of years ago. I loved the training, but it was very time-consuming! (Anyone who wants to talk training strategies let me know!!). Now, I only run for ‘fun’, but as I mentioned in previous posts, it’s also the way I deal with stress and being in my own head.

Starting running is HARD, but it has so many great benefits (e.g. the endorphin high, better aerobic fitness, increased bone density, better sleep, and in contrary to popular belief, it’s actually GREAT for your joints!), so here are the first five tips that I wish I had found out as I started running.

1. Invest in some decent trainers

This number one on the list for a reason! Most people will want a pair of road shoes initially (I bought trail shoes for my first pair and almost instantly got injured as I was running on pavements!). A lot of running shops offer gait analysis when you go in, and it is definitely worth doing. Only use them for running, and change them every 6ish months (depending on mileage).

2. Use the trainers!

Actually get out there and run! Give it a fair go, because I guarantee you that the first mile is not fun, nor is the second, nor is the second, third or tenth run. Running is high impact for your body, and it takes a lot of time for your body to adjust to it. So you need to keep running until it becomes fun! Everyone ‘can’t run’ to begin with.

3. Include walking

Your runs for the first few months shouldn’t be runs! You need to build up your fitness and more importantly, let your body adapt to the different and difficult demands you are putting on it. Try running for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes, and repeating that for a set about of time (try 5-6 minutes initially and build up).

4. Don't do too much too soon

Injuries are so common in runners and it is usually because of this. You should only ever try and get faster or try and increase your distance separately, never at the same time. A golden rule of no more than 10% a week increase in distance is a good guide.

5. Don’t forget to warm up!

Just because you’re not in a gym doesn’t mean you should skip this bit! A bit of jogging on the spot and mobility exercises will get your body ready for what you are about to ask it to do. Especially as the weather turns colder!

I hope these are helpful everyone! I’d love to hear if you try some of them. Who’s given running a go? Anyone finding it really loving it or finding it really hard?

Stay tuned for my final five tips in my next post!


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