Top ten tips to start running (part II)

My final pieces of advice to get you out there with your feet pounding the pavements, the wind blowing in your hair and a massive grin on your face.

I’ve been reflecting somewhat on my running since posting my previous post (first instalment of my top ten tips to start running). With encouragement from you ladies, I actually attended my first ever parkrun! And despite the fact I was incredibly grumpy (read: cold, wet and sleep deprived) at the start, it was hugely enjoyable.


Most of my exercise is on my own; quite often it’s the nature of the activities I love. As I’m sure the regulars here know, parkrun has a definite community feel to it. Everyone was welcomed, there was chatting at the start, and a sense of common purpose; of doing it together. There was more competition (read: I was trying not to let my husband beat me by too much!) and there was some chatter and giggles along the way too. It’s reminded me that there can be so much social enjoyment in exercise, and I definitely will seek it out more. Just not every Saturday…


Hopefully you’re feeling more inspired to give it a go already! So here are my final five tips to starting running:


6. Don't start too fast

It’s much better to start super, super slow and enjoy your run, and speed up towards the end if you have anything left. If you go full pelt out, you are going to want to slow massively/stop, and then end up beating yourself up about it. If in doubt, run slower.


7. Choose the right surface

Pounding the pavements can cause injuries, especially if people have not followed tip number 1 and 4 (invest in some decent trainers and don’t do too much too soon)! Try a bit of off road running, get a bit muddy and blow away the cobwebs! Plus, the endorphin high is always extra-amazing if you’ve taken your run somewhere new and exciting.


8. Mix it up

Don’t just run otherwise you a very high risk of not following tip number 4, especially at the beginning! Throw in some swimming, walking, cycling, climbing stairs and skipping. Changing up your movements patterns will keep challenging the body and decrease the risk of overuse injuries.


9. Modify your expectations

Yes go out with an idea of what you want to do, but don’t stick doggishly to that when you’re having not such a great run. Sleep, hydration, what you have eaten and stress is all going to have an impact on how you feel when you run, and you may not be able to pinpoint the exact factor which means that this run isn’t your best. That’s ok; just listen to your body and go for it on a day when you are feeling stronger in your running.


10. Allow recovery

See tip number 4 again! Three runs a week is a great number to be aiming for, but if you’re also training in the gym as well, your body is going to need some down time to recover. Make sure you have 1-2 rest days a week so you can give your workouts your all.


"Get rid of those labels that say ‘I can’t run’ because everyone can – they just have to start."

Get rid of those labels that say ‘I can’t run’ because everyone can – they just have to start. And try and try and try. And you might just find that you surprise yourself and you end up being one of those dreaded ‘runners’!


Anyone thinking of giving it a go now?! Let me know how you get on!

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The Plan Harrogate

1 Westmoreland Street

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Yoga. Fitness. Wellness. Community.