First things first.
- Build up your fitness level gently, especially if you’ve not been active for a while. Check out NHS’ guide to walking for health before you move on to running.
- Running is an ideal sport to start out with as it requires very little equipment. Having the right pair of trainers that suit your foot type can improve comfort and reduce the likelihood of injury. There are many types of trainers on the market, I recommend getting advice from a specialist running retailer who will assess your foot and find the right shoe for you. See this article on Runners World regarding choosing the right shoe. Don’t forget that the shoe’s structure weakens over time, especially with regular use. Running experts advise replacing running shoes every 300 miles (482km).
- Plan your runs. Work out when and where you’re going to run and put it in your diary. That way, it won’t slip your mind. Sometimes it’s hard to juggle exercise around work and family life, but make an appointment with yourself. You are important too.
- If you feel out of shape, or you’re recovering from injury or worried about an existing condition, see your GP before you start running.
It’s essential to ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over several outings. A gradual increase is the best way to start in order to avoid injury and enjoy the overall experience.
Never underestimate the benefit of warming up before a run! Many people (even experienced runners) just head out the door start jogging slowly and pick up the pace gradually. It is important to wake your body up slowly before your workout by including a fast paced walk and dynamic stretches.
Recommended physical activity levels:
As time goes on, make the running intervals longer until you no longer feel the need to walk. For information on good running technique, read How to run correctly.
A good warm up before a run is just as important as cooling down afterwards. Give yourself a few minutes to cool down after each run by walking and a doing few stretches. Try the NHS post-run stretch routine.
Regular running for beginners means getting out at least twice a week. Your running will improve as your body adapts to the consistent training stimulus.
Set yourself a goal
Whatever your level, setting challenges is useful to stay motivated. Training for a race, such as a 5K, or a charity run is a good way to keep going – see our events page if you fancy taking on a fun challenge.
Run with a friend
It really helps to have someone about the same level of ability as you to run with. Not only will you encourage each other when you’re not so keen to run, but you’ll feel you don’t want to let your running partner down if you want to dip out of a planned run together and this will help motivate you.
Keep a diary
Note down each run, including your distance, route, weather conditions, time and how you felt. If your motivation is flagging, you can look back and be encouraged by how much you’ve improved.
Improve your running
If you’re looking to improve your running, why not try an improvers session or boot camp with ML RunFit? Each session provides a structured run with coaching to develop your running technique, speed and stamina.
Mix it up
Keep your running interesting by adding variety. Running the same route over and over again can become dull. Vary your distances, pace and routes. There are plenty of tools online you can use to measure a distance and plot a route for free – why not try Map My Run or Strava.
Join a club
A running club is an ideal way to commit to running regularly. Clubs are also a great way to find running partners to run with outside of club sessions.
Holyhead Running Club is a newly formed social only club, welcoming members of the local community to join in on their twice weekly runs.
Cybi Striders is another local club which has been around for over 30 years. They cater for both competitive and social runners.