- It's great for your cardiovascular health.
- It can be meditative.
- You don't need to pay membership or class fees.
- Or factor travel time into your workout.
Here are 10 tips for beginners:
1. Have realistic expectations for your first few weeks. The very beginning might be rough but it will definitely get better.
2. Go to a specialist running shop for gait analysis to find the right trainers. Once you know the details, you can look online for last year's version of the same make and model if you want to save money!
3. Invest in good underwear. A properly fitting sports bra is vital for women (Shock Absorber is a great brand) and moisture-wicking underpants are essential to avoid chafing and discomfort: we can recommend a British company called Runderwear - a brand literally road-tested over two London marathons by one of our staff!
4. Run at a pace that feels comfortable. The quickest way to make running terrible is to try to go flat out all the time. It'll make you tired and out of breath and probably feel somewhat defeated. Run at a speed that allows you to carry a conversation.
5. Do a little bit of strength training. You don't need to lift weights, or even go to the gym if you'd prefer not to, but spending 10 to 15 minutes doing bodyweight workouts in your living room a few times per week will strengthen your core and lower body, making running easier and minimising the risk of injury. Here is a link to a 7 minutes runner's workout.
6. Don't focus on pace or distance: consistency is the key.
7. Think of rest days as part of your training. To get stronger and fitter and become a better runner, you need to recover from your workouts so you can get back out there again tomorrow or the next day. Start out by running two or three days per week and getting plenty of rest in between. Doing lighter activity like restorative yoga or taking a bike ride is great for off days, too.
8. Pay attention to your pre-and post run snacks and meals. Eating the right mix of carbs, protein, and fat can be amazing fuel before you run and an incredible recovery aid once you finish. For both steady state and higher-intensity runs, you'll want to make sure you're getting enough carbs before and after you exercise.You can find some guidelines here.
9. Don't be afraid to walk. In fact, slowing down and taking breaks to walk can actually build strength and endurance to benefit your running.
10. Remember that you are a runner. Whenever you’re in doubt, remember these wise words from Runners' World journalist Bart Yasso: “I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I've never met a fake runner."