A Beginners Guide to Running

So its finally a brand new year and for many people a chance for a fresh start. One of the most common new years resolutions that you see floating around the place is the one to improve fitness, be more healthy or to take up running, but this can leave some people scratching their heads and asking, 'where the heck do I start?'. One of the main reasons many new runners end up quitting is that they have a high motivation and determination to accomplish big goals but lack the fitness and perseverance to achieve them, making the mistake of giving up before they have even begun.
I am one of those weird people who absolutely loves running, I find it such a good hobby to have in order to keep fit as well as an effective stress relief after a hectic day. Personally I am no expert but I run at least 3-4 times a week so thought it may be helpful to share some tips based on my personal experience for some newbie runners out there to get the most out of running.

Get out there and make a start
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when running is motivating yourself to lace up those trainers and hit the road in the first place.. The harsh truth is that you are almost definitely going to suck at running to begin with if you have never tried it before, such is the case when you try anything new. My best advice to you would be to stick at it, when I first started running I struggled to get to the end of the road without being absolutely exhausted and collapsing in a heap on the floor. You have to train to condition your body, starting off with a distance and speed that you are comfortable with and build it up gradually in order to build up your fitness and feel an improvement. Even the best marathon runners started off as a beginner, so remember practice makes perfect and never give up!

Get suited and booted
You definitely don't have to invest heavily in gear and accessories to start running, but I highly recommend finding a decent pair of running shoes to improve your running experience by huge amounts. Running shoes are a lot more comfortable and help your feet to strike the ground properly which reduces the likelihood of getting shin splints and blisters, something I used to be all too familiar with. From past experience you really do get what you pay for in terms of quality so you are probably better off to invest in a slightly more expensive running shoe if you are serious about taking it up regularly, trust me you won't regret it! In my opinion Nike are always a go to option for a quality shoe at a reasonable price suitable for all weather conditions.

Avoiding the dreaded stitch
A stitch is every runners worst nightmare, usually caused because your abdomen is not used to all the knocking around that running causes, but don't worry, stitches tend to stop being as common the fitter you get. One way to prevent stitches is making sure to control your breathing as you go along, I find breathing all the way in for 2 seconds and out for 2 seconds usually works best. Another thing to avoid is eating for about 30-45 minutes before you run which will also undoubtedly cause a heavy stomach leading to a stitch. If you get a stitch you can usually run through it by simply breathing deeply in and out, it'll be tough but you can push through it!

Pick a scenic route
Using a treadmill in a gym is fine but can become a little boring after a while just staring at a screen or a brick wall. In my opinion there is nothing better than a great landscape or view when running to make it a bit more of an enjoyable experience. I am lucky in that there are a lot of beautiful landscapes such as rivers and countryside to run nearby where I live but you should pick a place that appeals to you. One thing I love about running is that you can explore new routes and I always end up discovering so many hidden places that I never knew existed making it like a little adventure each time.

Create a playlist
Music is a huge motivator for me when it comes to running and it can give you that little bit more of an adrenaline boost to run faster and go further as well as taking your mind off of the fact your running and helping to time your breathing and keeping at a steady pace, so be sure to create a playlist of your favourite songs. One of the best stress relieves about running is being able to put in a pair of headphones, get lost in the music and forget about the world.

Push yourself
The best way to improve at running is to constantly push yourself to be better. If you're serious about running, set yourself an end goal in mind to keep you focused and motivated, whether it's a way that you want your body to look, a distance that you want to achieve or a time that you want to beat, whatever works best for you! Investing in a cheap little fitness watch and keeping a training log will help you to beat your  times and get fitter in no time! Plan scheduled times to go out running based around your life to avoid that 'I have no time to exercise' excuse.

Most importantly remember that you CAN achieve your goals no matter what your body, mind or anyone else tells you, so believe in yourself, persevere and I guarantee you'll be up and running in no time.


Hannah Louisa Nicklin said...

Love this post, it gives me hope that one day I will be able to run further than the end of my road! haha! Great tips and advice!

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