I get asked all the time for tips from people about how to start running as they are worried it will be too hard or they will get injured, here are my top tips..
- Increase mileage slowly- When you start out don’t worry about training plans just get out there. No one became a runner overnight and it’s a slow process. Aim to simply add a little bit more on to one run every week ,you ran for 5 mins last monday? aim for six minutes this Monday. Plenty of new runners get injured by doing too much too soon and give up on the sport.
- Buy a decent pair of shoes- You know those pair of converse all stars or the trainers with the light up soles? yeah they’re not going to cut it. Get yourself down to your local running shop and try some pairs on,they don’t have to be the most expensive just ones designed for running and are comfy to you.
- Run easy most of the time- Running is fun,keep it that way. Most of your runs should be a nice relaxed pace where you could have a chat with friends.Running easy promotes capillaries growth which equals more fuel for the fire ! A good rule of thumb over your week is 80% easy runs 20% hard efforts.
- Join a club- Ok as a club coach I may be a little biased but in my opinion joining a running club is THE best thing any runner can do to improve.You can find a list of clubs Here
- Run Hills- Most new runners shudder at the thought of hills but they are pound for pound the best session a runner can do! You don’t have to scale Everest,find a hill near you run up it and jog back down 5-6 times and aim to add one more rep a week until you can do 10 reps.
- Don’t worry about times- We all want to get faster be it sub 60 mins 10k or sub 3 marathon , BUT forget all that when you are first starting.Concentrate on building a good foundation and enjoying your running.Build a big base and i promise the times you dream about now will next year be your training pace.Chasing times when you start only leads to disappointment and a possible injury.
- Forget missed sessions- If you are coached by me you will probably roll your eyes at the amount of times i say ‘one good session doesn’t make a good runner’ just like one missed session won’t make your legs forget what they are meant to do and explode next time you lace your trainers up! Consistent training over weeks,months and years is what makes a runner.Had to work late so missed your session Wed,dont worry about it just try not to miss EVERY session 😉
- Forget fad diets- Remember your body is a machine and machines need fuel,that new watercress and marmite diet that celebrity Y is flogging on instagram is not what you need.Remember to eat sensibly, put more healthy stuff on your plate than cake and you will be fine!
- SLEEP- Now i have your attention eh? We only grow and rebuild when we sleep.It’s fine running 100 miles a week but if you are partying all week and going to bed at 3am you will never see the benefits! Get to bed as early as possible and become a firm fan of power naps!
- Stretch- Finally a bit of controversy ,there are two camps regarding stretching, i’m in the do them camp! Invest in a foam roller and watch vids on youtube on how to use them properly,it really will become your new best friend!
One extra bonus tip,keep a diary. It doesn’t have to be too complicated but a paper diary is great to look back on and see just how far you have come!