Top Tips for New Runners in Lockdown
Lockdown may have put a stop to your normal sport and led you to go out running for the first time in a while. But how can you ensure that running becomes part of your life rather than just a lockdown penance? 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 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 2m 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. During lockdown many UK 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 all races are suspended there are plenty of virtual races covering all distances from 5k upwards.
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/). You’ll also require good running socks otherwise you could end up with blisters.
For even warmer weather or for treadmill running we recommend our drirelease Lancaster Vests.
Good luck and please email us at email@example.com to let us know how you get on!