Let’s face it, getting into running can be more difficult than it seems. Can it really be as simple as getting out there and running? Looking to people who have been there before and have years of running under their belts can be a real help in getting started.
And then once you do get out there on your first run, how do you keep that up? No matter how motivated you are, there’s always a point where you just want to give up. I bet some of you can already see it coming (even if you haven’t started running yet!). Well, thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way.
We’re scoured the Internet and pulled some of the best tips from people who really know their stuff. Here are ten top tips for you if you’re just starting out, or want to get going, with running.
Setting tough but achievable goals is really important to me: it keeps me motivated to move forward and gives me a massive sense of achievement when they’re completed.
Whether your goal is big or small, having something to aim for is important, especially when starting out. Are you trying to run a marathon, or shed a few pounds. Know what your goal is and you’ll have a much better chance of getting there.
Listen to your body
Pay close attention to what your body tells you. Listen to yourself honestly. If you’ve been fatigued or sore for several days in a row, then you may need to schedule in some rest and recovery time. Persistent pain for several weeks usually doesn’t just go away. Usually, it gets worse. It is always better to deal with these types of problems as early as possible, rather than wait until they grow into something serious.
Your body knows best and listening to it could help prevent a serious injury. Especially when starting out, don’t push yourself too hard. Take it one step at a time and build things up slowly, just as Runner Girl says!
The reason I love running outside is because I feel so free, able to explore my world and capable of taking on the unknown! You don’t get that from a treadmill. I felt really embarrassed at first but I slowly realised that nobody cared if I looked red or out of breath and those who did, didn’t matter – they were behind me as I ran on anyway. You just have to decide you want to. Be brave enough to take on the unknown.
There’s something quite restrictive about running on a treadmill, again and again. Running outside in the open air can be much more inspring and might be all you need to keep your motivation high.
Sign up for a race
It might sound scary but having something to work towards is really motivational. Race for Life’s 5K, Pretty Muddy and 10K events are the perfect races for beginners. Free weekly Parkrun’s in your local area are also a brilliant place to start.
Signing up for a race is a perfect way to really cement a goal! There’s a clear deadline and you there’s no escaping it! Charlie is a marathon runner who swears by this tactic as a great first step in starting to run.
Run with your friends.
Running doesn’t have to mean plugging your headphones in and disappearing into your own world (although it’s nice to do that sometimes!). Last weekend I took part in the Winter Run and ran the whole 10km with my lovely running friends! We chatted the whole way round and pushed each other to the end.
Like Zoe says, having company will help you push that little bit harder and keep going for that little bit longer. Hopefully, it’ll make running more fun too!
Get some motivational music
Pick about 7-8 of your favorite songs, load ‘em up on your iphone, ipod, etc and head outside. Put a few of the slower tracks first and then build up to the fun, dance songs. Run for the length of your mix (20-25 mins).
Adding to the point from Run Pretty, making your play-list gradually longer by 1 song each time can be a good way to build up the length of your runs. Just keep running until the music stops!
You will be slow
10, 11, 12 minute miles here you come! But guess what a 6 minute mile and a 12 minute mile have in common? Someone who ran them. You have to start somewhere and running a 12 minute mile is NOTHING to be ashamed of. So instead of focusing on how slow you are, focus on how awesome you are for doing it. Because it’s awesome. Honestly.
Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t expect to be setting world records (at least not in the beginning!). Start slowly and build from there.
Drink plenty of water
Avoid substances such as coffee, energy drinks, and alcohol before running a few miles. Water provides the best type of fuel to avoid dehydration and will keep you running. So before taking a run, drink several glasses of water to prevent dry throats and upset stomachs.
Hydration is key. Make sure you’re topped up before you set off. It might even be worth getting yourself a water bottle to take out with you…
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
This rule applies if you just started running or if you’ve been running for decades. Never, ever compare your running ability to anyone else’s. There are always going to be people faster than you, but there will also always be someone slower than you. Only compare yourself to … well, yourself. Be proud of how far you have come. Celebrate all of your running victories because each one is a big deal!
It’s easy to get caught up in competition with other people. It’s nice to be fast and it’s nice to win. But remember the journey you’re on and compare yourself to yourself. You’ll see gradual progress – just the way it should be.
Running in the rain won’t kill you
I’m a real fair weather runner and I hate the rain. But a bit of rain shouldn’t mean a cancelled run (unless it’s bouncing off the pavements, of course). It means I should invest in a good waterproof jacket
Excuses are easy to come by when you’re struggling for motivation. Just remember, a bit of rain isn’t going to hurt you!