Congratulations if your reading this far as the chances are that you have already taken the most difficult step to a healthier lifestyle.
The decision to do something about your fitness is often the hardest part and now you’ve got this bit out of the way you’ll want to make sure that your new resolution is not just a two week fad but a real long term and sustainable life changing step.
Running is well know to be one of the most natural and rewarding forms of exercise and is a great way to get fit and lose weight. It is also a very accessible, sociable, simple and a low cost sport to get involved in. So now that you’ve made that difficult decision, how can you make sure that all the enthusiasm and good intentions of don't completely disappear within a few weeks?
Why not take on board some of the information contained in our top 5 tips below? If you do then you stand a great chance of looking forward to a slimmer and fitter you out running in the warm sunshine of early spring.
Top 5 tips for starting out in running.
1. Start sensibly.
Can you really expect that 6am start for your run every day for the first week of January to last into the colder and darker days later in the month? Of course not. Start out by planning short and easy to carry out sessions in the first few weeks and build it up from there. See your doctor before you start if you have any medical issues that you feel may give you problems when running.
2. Get properly kitted out.
Having the right kit and feeling comfortable and well prepared while out running is another big factor in making sure you stick to your new more active lifestyle.
Running is a very cheap sport to start but a few basic bits of kit are essential. Most importantly get some proper running shoes. These are made especially for runners and will cushion your body properly from all the forces when you run on hard surfaces. Get your shoes from a specialist running shop who will be able to make sure they are the right type for you and fit perfectly. Wrong or poorly fitting shoes are one of the biggest causes of discomfort or injury in new runners.
Next think about the clothing you’ll need. Women should get a good sports bra and buy it from somewhere where they can try on different styles and sizes to get a comfortable and supportive fit. Also remember that it will likely be cold well into March so think about long sleeve running shirts, jackets, tights, hats and gloves. If planning to run in the dark also consider reflective clothing and lights so that you can easily be seen. Finally you may want a few other items such as some decent running socks, a water bottle and a sports watch to track your progress.
3. Mix it up!
Vary as much as possible in your new sport. Change where and when you run and the distance and the pace you run at as often as you can. Try off road running in woods or on our great coastline and beaches. Variety will keep interest and motivation high.
4. Bear in mind that your first few runs will probably be the hardest.
Many peoples first few outings are more of a walk than a run. Don’t worry this is completely normal just each time you go out try to run just a little bit further and soon you’ll notice that you don’t walk at all and this will be a first sign of your improving fitness. Be prepared for these first few runs and don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember the key thing is that you’re out there and you’ve made a start and you’ll have the knowledge that your next run will be a little easier.
5. Join a local club.
Running with people in the same boat as you is a great help. You’ll be able to empathise with others, ask for help and advice and it is also very sociable. Many running clubs have friendly run/walk groups that are set up just for beginners with short distances and slow paces.