Going for a run has long been associated as a stress buster and this is due to a combination of it being so accessible, low cost and its ability to get you out into the fresh air. Running is a sport that will improve your overall fitness at a fast rate and also has added benefits such as reduced anxiety levels, increased confidence and improved body image. Running is the perfect escape into the great outdoors and a chance to indulge in a little ‘me’ time. Here a few tips to get you started with your running.
1. Start slow and build
Don’t stress yourself out by expecting to be able to run a marathon on your first training session. Regular, shorter runs with increased distance will allow your body to adjust to running much quicker than pushing yourself to far on day one. There are some fantastic beginners training plans that will show you how to build on your distance. Start with this couch to 5k plan. If you aren’t used to doing any running, start walking for ten minutes and then try to run for ten minutes – this type of interval training will help build your stamina.
2. Don’t eat in the hour before you run
Many beginner runners are prone to stitches, this is due to the abdomen not being used to moving around and stiches tend to decrease as fitness improves. Another way to avoid this discomfort is not to eat at least an hour before you run as your body will need to digest before you set off. That said, make sure you are not hungry either and have had enough to eat and drink before you set off.
3. Choose a running route you like or practice on the treadmill
The beauty of running is that you can do it literally anywhere. The street you live on is a good place to start – somewhere safe, somewhere you know. The ideal would be a little local park with even surfaces and fresh air. That said, if you want to work on your running fitness in the gym and then build up to going outside, the treadmill is perfect and provides a softer surface to land on than the road.
4. Stick with it
Find what motivational methods suit you best. It could be running with a friend for company and support or even keeping a little diary of your progress so you can track your improvements. It will always be a journey, sometimes hard but one that will have plenty of rewards if you persevere. In no time you will start to see results and you will notice you’ll be puffing less and enjoying more. You just have to give running a chance to show you what it can do for your health, happiness and state of mind.
5. Make sure you have the right running kit
The biggest investment you will need to make when you begin running is a good pair of trainers. They will need to support your feet in the right way and also provide good cushioning. There is so much choice out there and we have plenty of suggestions here on SportStylist. Good kit also has a halo effect on your training – if you feel comfortable in your kit, you are more inclined to get out there and do your thing. Other running essentials are a supportive bra, leggings or shorts in the summer time and a dri-fit or lycra top. Winter running will require more layers and accessories including a headband or hat, a snood and possibly gloves too.