So you’ve made the decision that you want to start running, but you want to know how to start running! have no idea how to go about it. Starting steadily and safely will ensure you will keep those injuries at bay and stay motivated. Here’s our top tips on how to do it.
What do I wear?
Clothes wise, it’s really all about being comfortable when you first start out, but as you run more and more, you will certainly want to think about getting some ‘proper gear’. Clothes that wick away sweat from the body is ideal. A decent running bra for ladies is also a must. You don’t need to spend a fortune – there’s something for every budget. There’s no doubt, that when you invest in some running gear, it really does motivate you. Look like a runner – feel like a runner – be a runner!
What trainers should i get?
We often get asked about what trainers to wear when running. “Which are the BEST trainers to wear”. This often relates to the brand of shoe but in fact, the make of the trainer is pretty irrelevant. Your trainers should be a comfortable fit, with plenty of room at the toes. Often runners doing more miles opt to go up a half size, and sometimes even a full size if they are doing a high number of miles in one go.
If you’re just starting out, this shouldn’t be an issue just yet… but it’s a good idea to go to a running specialist shop who will look at your gait, your foot strike and advise on the best fitting trainers to support your feet. This advice is particularly helpful if you under-pronate or over-pronate as you run. Your trainers will have extra support to ensure you strike the ground neutrally. You won’t necessarily get the right fit with the cool Nikes on special offer, so it pays to go to a specialist fitter.
Making a move – How far should you go?
Running can be incredibly challenging – especially when you first start. Using the run/walk method is the easiest way to build endurance without creating extra stress on your joints. Use a timer on your watch or phone to create timed sections for running and walking, ie, one minute of each. With each run, you can try increasing the run sections and decreasing the walking parts.
Taking it easy
Don’t head out too far or too fast. Take it easy to allow your body to get used to running. Remember, you put three times your body weight through your joints when you run. If you bolt out the gate, you may pay for it with an unwanted injury and you don’t want to be put off the idea of running forever! It will be challenging at first, so keep the pace at a manageable rate. You should be able to talk in full sentences. If not – slow down. Most importantly – remember to breathe! Through your nose and out through your mouth.
When you finish, cool down by jogging or walking for a few minutes, finishing up with some gentle stretching. This will help your muscles and stop them from getting tight.
Think consistency over intensity. Plan a schedule to make running a habit. Don’t know where to start? We can help you with a running plan written especially for your ability and goals.
Correct running form
It’s not until you see lots of runners together (ie: London Marathon) that you realise that everyone runs a little differently. There are things you can do to improve your running form and improve your experience – like conserve energy, improve your pace, run further and reduce your risk of injury.
Things to consider are:
- Upright posture – head lifted, back long and tall, shoulders level but relaxed, pelvis neutral.
- Shoulder placement – be mindful that they don’t hunch over as you become tired.
- Arms – back and forth in a natural movement with a 90 degree bend at the elbow.
- Hands – keep them relaxed – don’t clench them.
- Feet – monitor how they meet the ground. This is called your footstrike. You might land on your heel, middle of your foot or your toes. You may experience problems depending on how you run. Toe runners may experience tight calves whereas heel strikers can lead to over-striding. You can find more information and tips in our Heels Strikes blog!
Does it get easier?
We often see posts in our Facebook Community Group of people asking if running gets easier. Does that initial feeling of wanting to call 999 after just 1km subside?
The answer is YES! If you’ve never run before, then, of course, your body will find the whole process a bit of an ordeal – especially if you’re also new to exercise. But stick with it! We’ve read so many stories where runners found the start of their journey to be challenging but were then so glad they kept to their plan. They got stronger and found motivation in their distance increase or time decreasing.
Your community is waiting
Our very own Start Running – Stay Running Community Group on Facebook is full of runners just like you. Our ethos is to celebrate every run – from mile 1 through to 26 (and beyond). You will find inspiration and motivation to help keep you going.
Want some help to start?
If you’ve always wanted to start running but felt too overwhelmed, too insecure or just found the whole prospect too hard, then our brand new programme ‘Coached to 5K’ is for you! Our team of coaches will hold your hand (metaphorically speaking) through each week of the programme. There is no time pressures to achieve the 5K – the pace will come later. Our programme will educate, motivate and celebrate you to that first running milestone… finishing with a beautiful 5K medal. Take a look at how we can get you Coached to 5K and get ready to start running on 31st January.
We also have our paid-for membership, ‘The Inside Track’ which is available to sign up to at any time. Our online platform is filled with coaches and specialists to help you reach your running and nutrition goals, advise with niggles and injuries, keep you strong and flexible with a strength and conditioning programme to run alongside your plan and even keep you accountable with the Training Peaks app which is checked each week by our run coach.
Want more advice on running? Head over to Running Blogs and More!