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New Year, and time for a new challenge? So, you’ve decided that you want to give running a go, but not run since the playground. And that doesn’t fill you with much joy. So, how do you go from walking to running?

Fear not! The team at Start Running Stay Running feels your pain and have comprised a list of top tips you can use to aid your walk to run transition.

Walk before you run – It’s child’s play!

When you first start out on what will be YOUR running journey, it is important to make sure you are preprepared. Here is a checklist to get you started:

  • Clothing – layers!
  • Waterproof/water-resistant jacket
  • Hat (woolly or sun)
  • Sunglasses/sun lotion
  • Appropriate footwear
  • Water
  • Mobile phone

Training – building up distances

You’ve been walking since you were tiny, and so this is not something you need to practice. However, when training to run, walking is an important part of the conditioning process. It is recommended that you cover 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day, this is the average equivalent of 5k in distance. If you are not already covering this many steps, start now and aim to do this every day.

Ideas for how to increase your walking habits:

Leave the car at home and walk to work/shops/visiting friends and family. 

Drive to a beauty spot and take a walk. Nature is a great motivator, why not take a walk and see what you can find?

Increase dog walks or offer to walk someone else’s dog

From home, find a 5k route that loops you back home again.

If walking every day is too much, start with every other day and build up from there:

Walking plan

Once you are comfortable walking every day and are regularly doing this, you can start to pick up the pace.

Pace Yourself

When talking about walking pace you may think of Strolling/Ambling/brisk walking, all of these will resemble a pace.

So if you feel like you are “strolling”, think about increasing your pace to “brisk”. You will soon see the difference this mind-change makes.

Move your arms from being by your side and moving back and forward – to your arm’s being at 90° and driving back and forth, making you move faster.

Your breathing will change from being steady to slightly more puffed. This is ok and the exact effect you are after. You are working your system hard, muscles are being asked to do more, and so they will need more oxygen to keep up. KEEP BREATHING! Allow the natural adjustment of your breathing pattern to coincide with your increased pace.

Best Technique for Walking

You would think that walking is walking – but there are ways to do this more effectively.

The main things to remember are;

  1. Head up, shoulders back!  Don’t look at the ground. Your shoulders, neck, and back need to be relaxed.
  2. Swing arms with a slight bend at the elbow. Hands should be cupped slightly – not clenched.
  3. Slightly tighten your stomach muscles to keep your back straight.  You shouldn’t be arching your back forwards or backwards.
  4. Walking should be smooth – walking through the foot, heel to toe.

Next step…

If by now, you are enjoying your daily outing and getting those steps in, perhaps it’s time to consider running it?

There are many 5k plans and apps you can look at, all of which are designed to help you get from the couch to covering a 5k run.

At Start Running Stay Running, we go one step further and offer a bespoke training plan that will also look at the strength training you will need to help support your muscles, nutrition advice to make sure you are fuelling correctly as well as injury advice and weekly check-in to help with your accountability.  Not only that, we work on mindset too. In many cases, how you frame your journey and think about running can be as powerful as doing it physically. Our mindset coach Michelle, will help you get over those limiting beliefs and get you on the path to 5K.

When you’re ready to run, how will you do it? For further information on our 5K course go to: Coached to 5k Course – Start Running Stay Running

For more inspiration and motivation, why not join our friendly free Facebook Group – Start Running Stay Running Community