Running…10 tips of where to start!

It is a daunting idea isn’t it starting running! That was how I felt 20 weeks ago when I decided to sign up for the Great North Run and start running! I am sure I am not alone in that until this point my only real experiences of running were primary school sports days and cross country at high school. Both of these always filled me with dread, I was never a runner, I hated any sports at school especially running! A few times during my weight loss journey I attempted to run but each time gave up after a couple of runs, because I hadn’t really got a plan and didn’t know where to start.

Since starting running many of my readers have asked me for advice to start running themselves. As someone who is also pretty new to running I feel I can give you an honest view of what I feel is important. Someone who has run for 20 years may give you different tips and different ideas but their experiences will also have been different. My suggestions may not be for everyone and I am no expert by any means but I am writing this to share my experiences. Hopefully this post will help some of you guys that want to run but just don’t know where to start or maybe like me lack confidence and worry about other peoples opinions of you running.

Remember this when you see other runners!

 

1. Safety First – I completely understand if you wish to run on your own at first, I did for quite a while to build up my confidence. I ran around a local reservoir as it was so much quieter than the streets and I was terrified of someone seeing me running and laughing! The reservoir I ran/walked around is quiet but not too quiet so I felt comfortable that there were enough people around for me to be safe. I also wore an attack alarm on my wrist and always told my partner Stuart where I was going. I used an app called Road ID too which tracks where you are and from a distance Stuart could always see where I was which gave us both peace of mind.

Basic but adequate running shoes each of these
pairs was under £25

 

2. Avoid Injury – Whilst you don’t need expensive trainers to run, some people even run bare foot (personally I think that’s crazy!), you do need to be comfortable. To avoid injury trainers designed for running that support your feet in all the right places are ideal and need not be expensive. The first running trainers I had were £17.99 and were fine, one day I swapped from them to my “normal” trainers and that day I hurt my knee. I couldn’t say for sure it is linked but have only ever run in running trainers since.

3. Don’t run before you can walk! – Start by walking and then gradually add bits of running in, there is no rush it is much better to build up gradually than rush and wear yourself out, injure yourself or get disappointed when you cant run 5k in a week! There are lots of couch to 5k apps or groups that will help you build up gradually if you like to be given the guidance. If you’re anything like me though and you don’t want to be told what to do then you can just run and walk alternately slowly building up. Don’t aim for miles and miles, start with a mile or two and slowly add to the distance as you feel comfortable.

The sort of clothes I run in now, my attack alarm on my wrist,
my waist bag for my keys, phone and inhaler.

 

4. Be comfortable – I first started running in basic leggings, a loose top and a lightweight jacket which did the job just fine. I did however find that clothes designed for running were a little more comfortable and soon swapped to these. Running clothes can be expensive but they don’t have to be and I found buying a few basic sports tops and trousers helped me to feel like I could do this and encouraged me to not give up now I had the trainers and clothes for the task! A supportive bra is a must, but again this doesn’t have to be expensive, I run in an Asda sports bra that was £6 which I found to be as supportive as more expensive ones I tried on and it is comfortable for me. Everyones body shape is different as long as you are supported and comfortable you should be fine!

5. GPS watch, app, stopwatch? – I think you need something to show you that you are improving because in the early stages it is easy to feel like you have a long road ahead and are not improving when in fact you are. Whilst I now have a GPS watch (A TomTom Runner) that I regularly forget to start and stop, I started out using a free app and still use it if I forget my watch. There are many apps out there the one I preferred was Strava as you can add friends on it when you’re ready and give each other kudos for runs! By using an app like this you can see your average pace improving as you run more and track the distances you do. It is great for keeping you motivated to improve slowly! There are free apps on smartphones for this and most people have a smart phone now but if not running the same route with a stopwatch would still show you improvements.

A Screenshot from Strava showing the
information it gives you, pace, elevation, distance,
a map of route, moving time.

 

6. Set yourself goals – I found having goals was a great motivator and encouraged me to keep going. Every time I accomplished a goal I had set myself I felt great. It doesn’t have to be a big goal like a half marathon, my first goal was to be able to run completely between two particular bins I passed on the path around the reservoir! The sense of accomplishment I felt when I could do that was great! I remembered that with a smile as I was doing the Great North Run last weekend!

7. Look after your health – I have asthma and never ever run without my inhaler. I found running made my asthma worse initially but after numerous trips to see my doctor and changes to inhalers I now feel it is under control and didn’t need my inhaler once during the 13.1 miles of the Great North Run! Everyone is different and will have different health issues and everyone with asthma for example will respond to different treatments. Listen to your body and if you are not well do not run, if you are struggling when out on a run then make sure you stop. In the long term your health is the most important thing, don’t push yourself too hard and listen to your doctors advice! Keep hydrated and find what works for you regarding eating and drinking before a run so you are well fuelled but make sure to leave enough of a break to avoid getting a stitch!

Never ignore your health!

 

8. Ignore everyone else’s running – You are running your own race as such, it doesn’t matter if you see another runner who is running faster than you, it doesn’t matter if you have to walk parts and worry people will see you and wonder why you are not running. This is your journey and you are building up to be the best you can, what everyone else does isn’t important!
9. Don’t let non runners put you off – If you ask any runner I would imagine most of them have at some point been ridiculed, verbally abused or whatever you want to call it. I was recently out on a run and twice had men in vans shout at me calling me fat. I know I am not fat, I am a size 6-8 now and the photo below shows what I was wearing that day and was taken just after the run. These people will call anyone anything they like, by calling me fat I hope it shows you that these things they shout are automatic and designed to make you feel rubbish and everyone experiences it. Whilst I know myself it isn’t easy to accept I try to always remember if they are not out there running they have no right to an opinion about those who are! Be prepared for these things and try to remember they do not know you and are not important in your life. Do this for you no one else.
After a run recently when I was called fat.

10. Enjoy it – Most of all the main thing about running is to enjoy it, there will be times when you don’t feel like going out for your run but you soon enjoy it when you go out, there will be times it rains and you get drenched. These days are natural but as long as on the whole you are enjoying it keep going, however slow you feel you are progressing if you are enjoying yourself that is all that matters. If you don’t enjoy it then maybe it isn’t the right sport or exercise for you, or maybe you need to find a way you would enjoy it more like looking for a different route, a running club to join or listening to some music whilst you’re running.

If you enjoy reading my blog please do feel free to click through the different tabs to find weight loss tips, reviews, light reading, giveaways, recipes and lots more! if you would like to sign up to receive my weekly newsletter containing all that weeks posts direct to your inbox so you never miss a giveaway or post that might interest you just pop your email address in the box below and don’t forget to also click to the confirmation email you will receive.
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2 Comments

  1. September 17, 2016 / 4:30 pm

    Your blog is amazing jen. Thank you for all your inspiration and support for others xx

  2. September 17, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Your blog is amazing jen. Thank you for all your inspiration and support for others xx

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