Five Tips for New Runners
With some form of lockdown still present for most of us, getting out for a run is a fantastic way to stay fit – physically and emotionally. If you’ve just started running recently, 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 for 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.
Run with a flatmate or family member if you can
Running is much more fun with someone else – be it human or canine. If there's a family member or flatmate who's prepared to run with you, all the better. Be considerate of others, and follow the social distancing guidelines. Normally we would recommend joining a running club – there are thousands across the country. You will find that most running clubs have a beginners’ group. This is definitely something to save for post lockdown.
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. Some parks have rules stating that dogs must remain on leads throughout your visit.
There is nothing wrong with the treadmill if this is your only option. Some of us are not lucky enough to live close to a park where it's possible to run. However, there’s nothing like getting outdoors when you can.
Recent studies including a review by the University of Exeter stated 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. There's an added benefit - you are likely to sleep better if you have been exposed to sunshine.
A study shows that people who exercise outdoors enjoy it more, find it more satisfying than treadmill running and are more likely to do it again.
Enter a race
Once you’ve got the hang of running it’s not a bad idea to enter a race. Although at present most races are suspended there are plenty of virtual races covering all distances from 5k upwards. FindARace and The Fix both offer virtual events and challenges while Strava offers virtual challenges.
Once lockdown is over a good starting point is 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, 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 in South West London we recommend: http://www.upandrunning.co.uk/)
If you're looking to start, or build on, your running collection, here are our recommendations:
Durham is our lightest, most technical t-shirt yet. It's made from S.Café® Ice-Café™ fabric – a blend of recycled fabric and recycled coffee grounds. This super light fabric stays dry, while the coffee inside absorbs and locks in odour.
Made from our own custom drirelease® fabric, Hove combines the comfort of cotton with the weightless, quick-drying properties of performance fabrics. It’s unlike any other fabric you’ll run in.
Our classic Hampton shorts are made from a lightweight, highly breathable Italian fabric to keep you feeling cool throughout your runs and workouts.
When the weather’s a little cold for a t-shirt, and too warm for a jacket, the gilet is the perfect accessory. Sheen II is cut from a waterproof and windproof triple-layer Italian softshell fabric. It’s lightweight too, coming in at just 125g.