Running is a fantastic way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, boost your mood, and maintain overall health. Whether you’re new to running or looking to get back into it, here’s a beginner’s guide to help you start and stay motivated:
1. Get the Right Gear
- Invest in a good pair of running shoes that provide proper support and cushioning.
- Wear moisture-wicking clothing to keep you comfortable and prevent chafing.
- On dark winter nights it is essential that you can be seen so ensure you wear light/reflective clothing.
- Consider a sports watch or smartphone app to track your progress.
2. Start Slowly
- Begin with a walk/run routine if you’re not used to regular exercise. For example, alternate between 1 minute of jogging and 2 minutes of walking.
- Gradually increase the running time and decrease walking as you build stamina.
3. Warm-Up and Cool Down
- Warm up your muscles with light dynamic stretches or a brisk walk before you start running.
- 5-Minute Warm-Up Video
- Cool down after each run with static stretches to improve flexibility and prevent muscle stiffness.
- 6-Minute Cool-Down Video
4. Set Realistic Goals
- Set achievable goals, such as running for a certain duration or distance.
- Celebrate small victories and gradually increase the difficulty of your goals as you progress. Our coaches are able to provide you with running plans.
5. Listen to Your Body
- Pay attention to how your body feels during and after running.
- If you experience pain (not to be confused with the usual discomfort of exercise), give yourself time to rest and recover.
6. Stay Consistent
- Consistency is key for progress. Aim for at least three to four sessions per week.
- Find a schedule that fits your lifestyle, whether it’s morning runs, lunchtime jogs, or evening workouts.
7. Mix It Up
- Include variety in your runs to keep things interesting. Try different routes, terrains, or even incorporate interval training.
- Cross-train with activities like cycling or swimming and strength training to reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
8. Hydrate and Fuel
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after your runs.
- Eat a balanced diet with a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to support your energy needs.
9. Rest and Recovery
- Allow your body to rest and recover to avoid burnout and reduce the risk of injury.
- Incorporate rest days into your weekly routine and prioritise sleep.
10. Join a Running Community
- Connect with other runners for support, advice, and motivation.
- Participate in local running groups or use online platforms to share your progress.
11. Listen to Music or Podcasts
- Provided you aren’t running on busy roads where it is imperative that you listen for traffic and other road users, why not create a playlist of your favourite tunes or listen to podcasts to make your runs more enjoyable.
12. Be Patient and Have Fun
- Progress may be gradual, so be patient with yourself. Our coaches are always available to discuss any training issues and offer advice and encouragement.
- Enjoy the process, and focus on the positive aspects of running, such as improved mood and energy levels.
Remember, everyone progresses at their own pace. The key is to make running a sustainable and enjoyable part of your lifestyle.
The entry level to join Saltwell Harriers is a 35minute 5K minimum. Contact the club secretary who will book you onto a taster session. After a couple of taster sessions you will be asked to complete a membership form and will be allocated a training group best suited to your present level of running ability/fitness. Regular training with a club will greatly speed up the rate at which you improve whilst, under the guidance of our coaches, keeping you safe.
Paul Rea / Photo: pexels-tirachard-kumtanom-601177