Most of my posts recently have been very beauty orientated, so decided to switch it up a bit today. A few weeks ago Molly from The Rose Beauty Files asked if I would do a Running Tips post and I thought it was a really lovely idea. I feel it is important to point out that I am in no way, shape or form a running expert! I started running just over a year ago as a means of boosting my weight loss, and I have just learned things along the way from my experiences.
1.) Start slowly and gradually build up your distance – This is probably one of the most important things I could tell you. You are not going to become a marathon runner over night, and if you try to run too far too soon you will just end up injuring yourself. It’s really crucial to ease yourself in to running, to give your body time to adjust. I used the ‘Couch to 5K’ podcast, which has an 8 week plan for newbie runners – I would highly recommend this! There is no shame what so ever in having to alternate between walking and running, we all have to start somewhere! At first you may only be able to run for a few minutes, but trust me when you a manage to run your first full mile without stopping it’ll feel totally worth it.
2.) Positive thinking is key – Running is not only a physical challenge but a mental challenge too. If you go into a run having negative thoughts, this will almost certainly have a negative impact on your performance and will make it seem much harder. I find it best to just try to clear your mind, and give yourself a bit of credit – you might not be Paula Radcliffe just yet, but giving it a go is much better than being sat on the sofa all night, it’s a big step in the right direction.
3.) Get a good running app – It is amazing how much difference recording your runs will make to your progress. I am quite a driven and competitive person so I love the idea of keeping track of my times, and being able to look back and see how far I’ve come over weeks/months. It’s also nice to have a visual representation on a map of how far you’ve run. Every runner has their own preference, but my current favourite running app is the Nike Running App. It is so user friendly and is really accurate, I haven’t had any trouble with it whats so ever.
4.) Get some ‘proper’ running gear – Obviously a heavy duty sports bra is a must! I tend to buy all my running gear from Nike, as I love the look of the products and their dry fit range is amazing. Of course a sturdy pair of running shoes are essential, you need footwear that will give your feet the support they need – this will help to minimise the chance of getting injuries. I currently wear Nike Flex 2013s (pictured above) – I am now on my second pair of Flex and I think they are a really good affordable running shoe. I got mine from my local Nike Outlet store back on Black Friday, for just £25! During the winter it’s also really important to have some hi-vis gear especially if you are going to be running at night.
5.) Always warm up – It might seem like a mundane and time consuming task, but I can’t emphasise to you enough how important a good warm up is! For beginner runners, it is very common to get what is known as ‘Shin Splints’ – I suffered from this myself when I first started running. It is ridiculously painful, and can easily be avoided by spending more time before running warming up and giving your legs a thorough stretch. I spoke to a local competitive runner for advice on stretching, but there is a lot of good advice online as well.
6.) Make an awesome running playlist – It is mind blowing how much of an impact having a good playlist has made to my runs (let me know if you’d be interested in a ‘running playlist’ post). I find listening to music not only makes the run much more enjoyable but also keeps me feeling motivated and driven. At times it almost acts as a bit of a distraction and is really good at helping you maintain a constant pace.
7.) Take the bull by the horns – get out there & run! – If you feel in the mood to go for a run, just get up and go – no excuses. The reason I decided to start running was because I felt it was a form of exercise that I could do without using money or time as an excuse. Once you’ve got your gear, there is no other real expenses! There are so many different places you can go to run and it doesn’t cost a penny. I find it is always good to mix things up a bit, so I try to do different routes all the time and run with different people. When I first started running I used to always take my labrador Maisie with me and just small things like that can really make a difference and make the experience much more fun! I have attached a picture of Maisie and me in our matching hi-vis attire.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this post. If you have any questions or thoughts, please let me know as I’d love to hear from you.
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