June 5th marked National Running Day in the U.S which left us feeling a little down, as there isn’t a UK alternative to encourage the nation into their running shoes. Out on the roads and trails, you’ve probably noticed that the Olympics had a pretty big impact on how many people run in this country, but what is the best way to get started?
Running is one of the most inexpensive and yet rewarding hobbies you can take part in, it’s great for weight loss, health, and is only limited by where you want to take yourself.
Benefits of running:
Get fit –
That metabolism slowed down a few years ago, you’re probably finding you can’t eat what you used to without noticing it sticking around the midsection. Running helps shock your metabolism and get your body burning weight like it should.
Get healthy –
Out of breath going up the stairs? The breathing motions that come with running and getting fit will have you feeling better in yourself and looking better on the outside. Running outdoors is also a great source of Vitamin D, which studies state that many of us, as a nation, deficient in.
Get disciplined –
It’s hard to make something new part of your routine, but it can be done over time. After a while, you’ll feel bad NOT going for a run. That kind of discipline can transcend into other aspects of your life, including your work.
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 do you need to start running?
– The Gear
You don’t need to start with the most expensive pair of running shoes. Start low cost (or even in the trainers you already have) and if you find you enjoy running, then move on to the running shoes that suit you. Comfort for your style of running is key. We recommend taking a free gait analysis test at one of our stores – This 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.
Polyester is key, this lightweight fabric is worth the investment. Look for running shirts that will wick the sweat away from your body to keep you cool (our Under Armour range comes in a low price, and performs great). Cotton tshirts make you heat up quickly, and stay wet so they stick to you when you 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.
– The Motivation
Don’t be intimidated by running clubs, most clubs have varying levels from beginner upwards. 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/faster, but might also prevent you from making excuses not to run!
Run with a friend:
If you don’t feel like joining a running club to start with, find a friend with similar goals to you and help each other out. Make sure you don’t make excuses, having somebody there genuinely does inspire most people to keep at it for longer.
If you own a smart phone, then download an app like Nike+, RunKeeper or Endomondo (there’s plenty out there). 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.
Where to start with running:
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 too far too soon.
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.
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 raise, 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.
Drink water when thirsty – simple huh?
Here are a couple of useful websites.
Runners World Beginners guide – A great guide from a great magazine, offering some beginners’ tips as well as much more across the website.
C25K – C25K is a set of podcasts that claims to be able to get you from the couch to running a 5k in just 9 weeks. Many of our customers highly recommended this when we asked them how to get started.
The Perfect Fit – Hi Tec’s guide to finding the best running shoe for you.
Do you have any other tips for beginners? Have you just started running yourself? Leave us a comment below.