After having a scroll through some of our older posts, I came across these ‘Top tips to get running’ and thought it might be worth sharing again. We quite often hear people say ”I can’t run”, or ask us how we got started, so we thought we’d put together a list of tips that may make the first few runs a bit less painful. These are the things that we found useful when we started out and the things we return too when we’re trying to get back into running again. For us, our passion for running comes in ebbs and flows, so it’s quite a good go-to list when we’re needing a little inspiration!
1) LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
This may sound like a pessimistic approach, but if you’re not used to running, the first few runs can be HARD. You reach the end of the street gasping for breath, a tight chest and burning thighs. When I’m getting back into running after some time out, I hate the first few runs, and can’t imagine ever enjoying it or feeling fit again. So the best advice I can give is to set off slow pace that you think you can actually maintain for a good amount of time. To begin with, it will probably feel too slow, but this means you can keep it going for longer, and it should be much, much less painful. So once you get running, try and enjoy it. If you want to stop and walk, that’s ok. Aim to go out for 20-30 minutes and run/jog as you please.
2) LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD
We are both suckers for nice running kit and as we mentioned our post, ‘The cost of fitness’, the prices can really add up. However, I think there is some truth if you’ve bought the kit and feel confident in it, then you’ll be more motivated. If you’re running in your Dad’s old T- shirt and some old tracksuit bottoms, it’s unlikely to get your running mojo going. So invest in a few wardrobe essentials and use this as motivation to get you out and running.
I suppose perhaps more important than the clothes are the shoes… There are lots of options out there from barefoot styles to cushioned trainers for your foot type. They don’t need to be particularly expensive or snazzy looking, just some shoes designed specifically for running that fit your foot comfortably. You’ll feel much lighter and bouncier and will be less susceptible to injuries once your mileage picks up.
Some people say they can’t run without music, I’m somewhere in between. I generally like running with my own thoughts as company, however, there is no denying music is motivating, especially when you’re tired or you want to drown out the sound of your own erratic breathing! As a female I sometimes worry about the safety aspect, so if I’m running when it’s dark or when the streets are quiet I never listen to music; that way I can hear what’s going on around me and am less of a target for getting mugged (yep, sadly in London this is a real possibility…) So find out what works for you.
4) FIND A FRIEND
A running partner is one of the best ways to make sure you get out running. I’m lucky to have a ready made running partner in the form of a twin sister. Being genetically identical has it perks; the same running style and pace thrown in with some sibling rivalry is a good combination. Friends, boyfriends, work colleagues – rope in whoever you can and it’ll make it a little more appealing. It can turn running into a social activity rather than a chore- go with a friend and have a coffee and a chat afterwards and it suddenly becomes more appealing.
It’s likely that if you’ve made plans in advance with a friend to go running, you’re much less likely to cancel as you don’t want to let the other person down. And when you get out, you’ll encourage each other, and perhaps even become a little competitive!
If you can persuade a friend to go with you, why not look for a running club? They’re generally friendly places who welcome beginners. You’re sure to find someone to run with, and hopefully a load of new friends too.
5) Set yourself a challenge
Whether it’s your first 5K, 10K, or half marathon, there is nothing like an impending race to get you out the door. I love doing races. It’s a great way to see how your training is paying off, but also usually a fun day out. The atmosphere is great with crowds cheering you on, and you usually get a nice medal and goody bag at the end. Top it off with a nice pub lunch and all the training is worth it!