Top tips for new runners
Your 2017 new year’s resolutions may include starting running. But how can you ensure that running becomes part of your life rather than part of your January penance? If you’ve just started running in 2017, here are our top tips to get you hooked!
Slowly does it
As with most forms of exercise, the best way is to build up gradually. Start by running however long you can manage (maybe once or twice a week) even if it’s only a few minutes. Then add no more than 10% every week. A combination of running and walking is fine at first in fact some coaches (such as Jeff Galloway) advise this method even for experienced runners. Don’t worry about pace, speed will improve naturally as your body acclimatises to running more.
If you build up too quickly, you’re bound to get injured and/or feel demotivated.
Find a friend to run with
Running is much more fun with someone else – be it human or canine. Why not find a friend who is also new to running out and plan to run together at least once a week. Or join a running club – there are thousands across the country. You will find that most running clubs have a beginners’ group. Running clubs are generally very social and next thing you know you’ll probably be planning evenings out and weekends away.
If you have a dog, there is no better company. It’s worth purchasing the proper kit. You’ll need a special harness for your dog and an elasticated running lead (you can find these items here) to put around your waist leaving your hands free.
Here are a few ways our Ambassador Steve Skinner recommends for getting more involved with the running community (link).
While you may be forced to rely on a treadmill during the working week, there’s nothing like getting outdoors when you can.
Recent studies including a 2011 review by the University of Exeter that exercising in natural environments, particularly in green spaces, "was associated with greater feelings of revitalisation and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression, and increased energy".
The study also found that people who exercised outdoors enjoyed it more, found it more satisfying than treadmill running and said they were more likely to do it again.
Another advantage of running outdoors is that you've got a greater chance of being exposed to sunshine and therefore increasing your vitamin D.
Enter a race
Once you’ve got the hang of running it’s not a bad idea to enter a race. If you’ve joined a running club, they’ll be plenty of suggestions. If not you could consider starting with a Parkrun, a free weekly 5K race across the country every Saturday morning at 9am.
Once you’ve got a few 5Ks under your belt, you may want to try a longer race such as a 10k or half marathon.
Look good, run better!
You’ll enjoy running more if you look and feel the part. It’s therefore worth investing in some decent trainers and running kit . With regard to trainers and socks, we recommend visiting a specialist shop with good technical advice on which type of shoes to wear for your particular style of gait (here's one we recommend: http://www.upandrunning.co.uk/). You’ll also require running socks otherwise you could end up with blisters.
If you’re running outdoors, we recommend our Richmond rain jacket or alternatively our Sheen gilet to keep your core warm and dry. Depending on the temperature we would pair this with one of our drirelease Cambrian tees or a long sleeved Sandown wool or Thorpe merino top. For legwear, we recommend our Windsor leggings or for really cold weather our Royston tracksters.
Treadmill running requires much lighter kit so we recommend our dri-release Lancaster vests or Cambrian classic tees paired with one of our three shorts styles – Pembroke, Thompson, or Hampton – depending on how long you like your shorts.
Good luck and let us know how you get on!