With Winter almost behind us, there’s a distinct change in the air, as people start to think about getting back in shape and enjoying their first non-restricted Summer in quite a while.
We all have our preferences when it comes to exercise, from weight training to Pilates, but one of the easiest ways to kick start your regime is to take up running.
Running is a great calorie burner, you can spend time out in the fresh air and it’s also completely free.
Whether you’re running to drop a few pounds, improve your time, increase distance or to clear your mind, here are a few tips to make it as easy as possible, reducing the risk of injury and to help keep you motivated.
These are the most frequently asked questions we hear from beginners:
How far should I go?
How fast should I run?
When is the best time of the day to run?
How do I fit this into my already busy life?
This Run Guide answers all of these questions and will make it easy for you to start on the front foot, be inspired and make progress.
Let’s get started!
You’ve already achieved the hardest part setting an intention to start running. To keep on track, it’s really important to be organized.
Here’s a quick checklist to ensure you’re ready.
Dates and Times – Set aside a dedicated time that you can commit to. And remember this is your time and it’s important to you.
Tip: to help you commit to the time, add it to your calendar.
Kit – Choose your kit wisely, make sure it ticks the following boxes.
- Is your clothing weather appropriate? Wear light, breathable clothing. Synthetic athletic fabrics work best since they don’t trap sweat.
- Trainers – find a specialist running store and seek advice
- Get yourself a reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated on your runs
Route – Choose a route that suits your distance. Ensure you check the terrain and gradients beforehand so there are no surprises. Planning your route is as important as the run itself so don’t skip this stage as it concentrates the mind and will help you track your progress.
Warm Up: Always start with a brisk 5-minute walk to warm up.
The Run-Walk Approach
The Run-Walk approach is the perfect way for new runners to get started.
Beginners – Run for 30 seconds then walk for 2 minutes – repeat x 5 sets aiming to progress to 10 sets over six weeks
Intermediate – Run for 2 minutes then walk for 1 minute – Repeat x 5 sets aiming to progress to 10 sets over six weeks
Advanced – Plan to build your running consistently beyond 20 mins without stopping and track your times for progress.
Once you’ve built your running base and it’s starting to feel comfortable don’t be afraid to experiment. To avoid plateauing choose different routes and longer runs. Run with friends, join a local running club, or do one of the many Park Runs available. These are great ways to keep you focused.
Whatever you do and wherever you start, just remember to increase your mileage slowly and most importantly enjoy the whole experience.
Written by Gareth Cole, Head of Performance at COACH LONDON.