Want to start running? Start here
Running is one of the most basic forms of human movement, it seems so straight forward but starting out as a runner can be hard. Before you start running here are some tips you may find useful for making your running journey a successful one.
Health check Before starting out as a runner it's worth a visit to your local G.P. Making sure your health is in order is a very sensible way of making sure you are doing things right.
Set yourself a goal Maintaining motivation when the going gets tough can be hard. It is well worth selecting a race or event that is a few months away as your goal. Make your your goals are SMART and you have a great way of ensuring you get up and run when you least feel like it.
S – Specific (or Significant)
M – Measurable (or Meaningful)
A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
Use a Couch to 5km program There are lots of handy apps you can download onto your smartphone. You can work through the program (stick to it too, it's the best way to avoid injury). This program progresses each week and gradually builds you up to being able to run 5km. The beauty of using the apps to manage your progress is also that you can repeat a week if you don't feel ready to progress, do it at your own pace and you will get the results you need.
Find some training friends or a running group It can be very easy to skip a run if you aren't accountable, tell your friend you will be there and it might be just what you need to get out the door. Check out your state athletics organisation for clubs in your area.
Get the shoes that fit. The right shoes make all the difference, if the shoe doesn't fit don't wear it. Don't shop for bargains because a cheap shoe may end up costing you far more when it comes to injuries requiring treatment. An investment in shoes is your top priority as a runner, you don't need the fancy GPS watch, the latest active wear or the latest gimmicks to run just invest some time and money into a fitting with a professional..
Never judge yourself on one run Everyone has bad runs from time to time, it could be due to a number of factors but it's imporant to lot be disheartened when it gets tough. Think about what happened in the lead-up to the run, maybe you were tired, you didn't eat enough or you weren't properly hydrated. Reflecting on why a run may not have gone well may help stop you repeating the same mistakes next run. PS, the bad runs make the good runs more special.
Hang around with other runners You can find out lots of tips on what to do and what not to do from experienced runners. They will also have great knowledge of local events, specialists and all the best run routes. Plus chatting with other runners is a great way to stay motivated.
Be Kind to yourself Running can be hard, some people are born runners and barely seem to raise a sweat and for others it doesn't come as naturally. Whatever your pace, or your distance be proud of what you are achieving. Starting out you will see transformations in your fitness and your body as you progress - it's amazing to track how far you come.
Celebrate your victories Whether it's your first non-stop kilometre, your first 5km or a new personal best time make sure you celebrate what you've achieved. Progress will come if you put in the training time and one day what seemed impossible will just be a warmup!
Running is a fabulous way to get and stay fit, make new friends and achieve something very special. Everyone starts a running journey for different reasons but in the end it is a sport that can change your life forever.