How to Start Running

June 2nd marks Global Running Day, a day that annually celebrates the sport of running with people of all ages and abilities! Running is one of the most inexpensive and yet highly rewarding hobbies you can take part in. It’s great for weight loss, keeping healthy, and is the only limit is where you decide to take yourself.

To get you ready for the big day, we’ve put together this quick guide to show you how to start running.

The Benefits of Running

Get fit
Running is the number one sport that people take up when it comes to losing weight. This is because running helps shock your metabolism and get your body burning weight like it should. By taking up running and sticking with it, you train your body to burn fat at a more consistent rate and get fitter.

Get healthy
Get out of breath going up the stairs? Running works to improve your breathing motions, allowing you to improve your running game and get fit whilst feeling better both in yourself and looking good on the outside. Running outdoors is also a great source of Vitamin D, which studdies show that many of us in the UK are deficient in. Running can also help improve your mental health by providing a clear mind and one thing to focus on at a time.

Get disciplined
At first it can hard to start something new and make it part of your routine, but over time it can be done. After sticking it at for a few weeks, you’ll start to feel bad NOT going for a run. This kind of discipline can transcend into other aspects of your life, including your work, improving your focus and determination.

It’s fun!
OK, so maybe right now you don’t believe me, but running is fun. It gets you outdoors, seeing some incredible views, you can run with friends, challenge each other and challenge yourself. Whether you choose to compete in races or not, you’ll certainly find you compete with yourself.

What gear do you need to start running?

Running shoes
You don’t need to start with the most expensive pair of running shoes. They may look cool or seem like the best choice with their abundance of technologies, but when you’re first starting, go low cost. Even the trainers you already have sitting around will do. If you find you enjoy running further down the line, then move on to the running shoes that suit you.

Comfort for your style of running is key. Come into one of our stores where staff will help out staff determine your running style and be able to advise you on the best possible shoe to support how your feet fit ground.

Running Clothing
Polyester is key, it’s a lightweight fabric that’s worth the investment. Look for breathable running shirts that will wick the sweat away from your body to keep you cool, we stock plenty of cool market-leading brands such as Under Armour and Montane. Cotton t-shirts make you heat up quickly, and stay wet so they stick to you when you break a sweat.

For legwear, wear shorts that finish above the knee, or tights to give your legs the best range of motion. If you only have jogging bottoms, make sure they aren’t too baggy and aren’t causing drag on your knees.

You’re going to want some base layers for when the winter months roll around as well. It can be awfully tempting to have a day off when it’s getting cold and dark in the evenings, but with a good pair of base layers, that’s not an issue as they keep you toasty warm in the coldest temperatures, whilst also wicking sweat away from the skin so you stay fresh with every step.

How to Get Started

Running Clubs
Running clubs are a great way to get started running, most clubs have varying levels from beginner and upwards, so don’t be intimidated by them. A good running club will help you get started and offer you tips on how to improve your form. Running with others will not only spur you on and help you go further and faster, but it might also prevent you from making excuses not to run and help in making it a habit!

Run with a friend
If you don’t feel like joining a running club to start with, find a friend you can run with who has similar goals to you and help each other out. Make sure you don’t make excuses, especially for each other, having somebody there genuinely does inspire most people to keep at it for longer.

Smartphone Apps
Running has never been easier to get into thanks to a little help from our smart phones. Using apps like RunKeeper or Strava, you can plan and track your runs and routes. Tracking your runs will help you track your progress and set goals. It’s a quietly satisfying experience seeing the route you have run when finished, most of these apps will also show you your average pace, the time it took and how many calories you have burned. Register some stats, and track your progress as you try and smash your previous times and distances.

Get started

Start slow
Take no notice of other people, your body will respond to progress in time. Start slow and build up your speed, if you’re feeling out of breath or sick, then there’s a good chance you have pushed yourself a little too far too soon.

Run tall
Don’t slouch, don’t lean, run with relaxed shoulders and your chest out. Focus your eyes 9 or 10 feet in front of you, and take a stride that’s comfortable for your legs.

Do it
Running for 5 minutes is better than not running at all – stop making excuses around time. Get up a little earlier, or take 15 minutes on your lunch break. Try and fit a run in whenever you can and you’ll start to notice the improvement in your fitness.

Warm up/Stretch Out
Warm up before your run, get your blood bumping and heart pumping with a light warm up before any run. Make sure after your run you stretch out thoroughly to help prevent muscle injuries. You should probably expect a little tenderness in the muscles the first few times, until your body starts to get used to running.

Hydrate
Drink water when thirsty – pretty simple really.

That’s our neat little guide to help get you start running. Hopefully with this advice you should be set to embark upon your first run and the many that follow.

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