Many of us remember running as a punishment, our least favourite ‘sport’ at school.
However, things have changed since you last put on your PE kit, and it’s become one of the most popular forms of exercise. No longer should you dread the cross-country, instead think about the positives of running: it’s free, you can do it anywhere, it’s a sociable or solo activity- whichever you prefer, plus a great stress reliever.
Lace up – your old trainers have probably seen better days, and there’s nothing more motivating than some new kit. Head out to your local running shop and have your gait analysis tested – I’d recommend The Sweat Shop who will allow you to try your shoes and return them (even if you’ve worn them outside) if they’re not right. Save money by seeing if they have last season’s style or colour way available on sale -although sometimes they adjust them each year so make sure they still fit correctly!
Aside from trainers, a sports bra is the other running essential – make sure to get measured for a proper one. Marks and Spencer, Primark and John Lewis do a good selection. I personally love the Brooks Moving Comfort bras – even if they are a nightmare to put on.
Just start – you don’t need to run a 10K straight away, lace up and head out for 1 mile, then add on a little bit the next time, and a little bit more. If you can’t manage a mile, then just run for 5 minutes, then 6 mins and so on.
Go slow – so many people make the mistake of bolting out of the door and having to stop by the end of the road. Slow down, this isn’t a race, you can always pick up your pace throughout your run.
Choose a goal – sign up to a race or simply plan to run your local parkrun. Having an end goal will keep you motivated to keep working on your running – whether that’s improving your speed or distance. I’ve found it hard to motivate myself to run more than 5K recently, but the start of NYC marathon training will soon put a stop to that!
Take your run outside – if you’re used to trudging through 10 min treadmill workouts at the gym and hating it, try switching to an outdoor run and you might just find that the time flies by. The mixed terrain, interesting scenery and fresh air should add an injection of energy.
Listen to something – download your favourite podcast, make a new playlist or just talk to yourself.
Join a beginner’s running group. Being part of a little community of people in the same place of you can help encourage you to keep up with your training, ask each other questions and to chat with as you run. But don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other runners – focus on your own running.
Feel smug – there is nothing quite like getting home from a run, checking out your running stats on your phone (uploading them to social media is optional), and knowing you’ve achieved something awesome.