With the long, and colder, months almost over, lots of us are thinking about how to get active again and remembering the pleasures of the great outdoors. Happily, doing so can often be as good for our body as for our mind and mood.
One form of exercise particularly good for taking advantage of the ever-lengthening days is running. It’s an all-round activity that gets you physically fit, burns excess energy, and can really help clear your mind.
To get you going we’ve put together some beginners’ tips on how to start running: from getting the right equipment to keeping motivated.
Before You Start
So you’ve decided that running is the sport for you. Congrats! It’s a great choice and one you’re unlikely to regret. Before you start it’s important to consider a few things. First of all, if you have any existing medical problems or injuries it’s always advisable to check with your doctor to make sure a new exercise regime is not going to cause any problems. Running is generally great for your body, but anyone with existing stress on their joints or muscles just needs to take a bit of extra care.
Getting the proper kit
Prior to setting off on that glorious first jog it’s also important to ensure you have everything you need to succeed. The great thing about running is that in general it’s pretty equipment free, no need for fancy machines or expensive gym wear. The one piece of kit that is important however, is a good quality pair of running shoes. You may have some old trainers in the cupboard, but to be a proficient runner and prevent any injury it’s important to ensure you use a pair that fits well and is going to give adequate support to your feet. If in any doubt go to your local sportswear store and get some professional advice.
How to keep motivated
Right, you’ve got the kit and you’re ready to go. How to actually get started? Running can be quite an intimidating sport for beginners. People tend to become pretty evangelical and this can lead to some intense competition with people eager to boast about their recent 77th marathon. Enjoy being part of the online sporting community and don’t let anyone put you off!
With running, like many exercises, it’s important to start small and work up. One great way to do this is to use a running podcast. There are some excellent series available for free that will take you from absolute beginner to proficient runner in a safe and effective manner. They are sure to keep you motivated on those days when leaving the house to pound the streets is the last thing you feel like doing.
Keep it up!
Once you have learnt how to start running you’ll most likely become one those evangelical runners too, but it’s useful to be aware that most people go through peaks and troughs with their enthusiasm for a sport so don’t be disheartened if you also experience periods of disinterest. The best way to get over this is to force yourself out for a really short, unchallenging run. This will remind you how much you enjoy the sport and why you started in the first place. Build up from there and you’ll soon be back in the habit.
So, those are just a few quick tips on how to start running. As one of life’s most satisfying activities it’s definitely worth the effort. Good luck!