Do you want to have a go at running (having never thought about it before)? If so, then check out our tips for beginners….
1.Start with the right kit! ‘Get good shoes, go to your local running shop such as Easy Runner (http://www.easyrunner.co.uk), Moti (http://www.mymoti.com/bristol/), or Up and Running (http://www.upandrunning.co.uk/bristol) for expert advice on correct shoes for you, they don’t need to be expensive but they must be a good fit. This will help prevent injury and be more comfortable’ says Jake Hayes (Chiropractor and London Marathon veteran!)
Otherwise, running clothing should basically be comfortable you don’t need to have all the branded gear. Whilst it’s always great to have nice and shiny new gear, it really isn’t necessary for running.
2. Start gently, 20 minutes 3x per week is fine. Break it into run/walk as a good way to start, and then build up gradually. This will help it feel achievable and enjoyable.
3. If you are carrying an injury it is worth getting it checked out by your GP or a health professional before you start. This way you’ll be pain free when you start.
4. Warm up/cool down. Whilst there is some debate over this area, it will make sure you feel better in the hours after the run and as such we strongly recommend it. It will also make you body feel more comfortable when running. Cooling down isn’t just about static stretches make sure that you walk for a couple of minutes to allow your heart rate to gradually slow back down. Then focus on static stretches i.e. those you hold for 30 seconds. In particular focus on your legs, these are the areas that typically stiffen up post run.
5. Run with friends or a group. There are lots of people running nowadays, having company is a great motivator and distraction! Local clubs such as Bitton Road Runners (http://www.bittonroadrunners.co.uk) have beginners groups and a wealth of experience to benefit from; running clubs cater for all abilities not just for the elite.
6. Have a target or a desire, pick something achievable like a Parkrun – a free weekly 5km race, locally we have Ashton Court, Little Stoke, Mangotsfield/Pomphrey Hill and Chipping Sodbury (http://www.parkrun.org.uk). Maybe then aim higher, local races such as the Bristol 10k and the Bristol Half Marathon (http://www.runbristol.com) can give you a taste of the big city races or if you prefer for something more local and lower key there is the Bitton 5k summer series held monthly at Bitton Station (http://www.bittonroadrunners.co.uk/events/5k.asp) .
Otherwise think about why you want to get out running it could be as simple as to get some time away from the stresses of daily life. Everyone will have a different reason but do keep it in mind; this will make it easier to keep running.
7. Enjoy it! Running is a natural activity, we all run at some time in our lives, it is a great way to get fit, lose weight and is good for our overall wellbeing – it costs very little to benefit from the ‘running high’.