The Beginner’s Guide to Running

The Beginner’s Guide to Running

You might not think it to look at me, but I actually used to be quite good at running. Despite my complete lack of coordination, and my dismal record in sport, I used to run about 25 kilometres a week. I did several 5 and 10k races, and back in 2012 I even managed a half marathon in the time of 2 hours and 32 seconds. After that however, my running career stalled. I had been so focused on training for the half that once I’d completed it, I lost all motivation. Also, I had met Luke that summer, and quite frankly, a lie in and cuddles on a Sunday morning was far more appealing than getting up early and going out for a run.

I plodded on, managing a couple of Parkruns a year, but I never really got back into running. Until now.

This January, after two babies and finding myself in the worst shape of my life, I made a resolution to start running again. I’m not going to lie, most of my resolutions had gone by the wayside by mid January, however I’m still running and finding myself enjoying it again.

April 2019 has been something of a watershed in my return to running. This month I’ve not only racked up more miles than ever (well, since 2012), but I also completed my longest run in 7 years (7.7 km) and even ran my first competitive 5k race (excluding Parkrun) since my return. I’ve well and truly got my running mojo back. Running is one of the most friendly and inclusive sports I can think of, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’ve ever considered it, but are not sure how to get started, here are my beginner’s running tips to help ease you in.

This year I’ve entered the Northants 5K Series. There’s five races held across the summer in different locations. Can’t wait to get the other 4 medals! Last week’s route for the first race in the Northants 5k Series. I’m used to running on tarmac, so the multi terrain route and the hills were a challenge!

Get kitted out

One of the best things about running is how cheap and accessible it is, there’s very little cost involved and it’s open to anybody. Having said that, it’s worth investing in a good pair of running shoes. If you go to a reputable retailer they can analyse your gait and choose the best pair of trainers for you. If you’re a beginner, I really recommend going and speaking to someone knowledgeable, rather than buying over the internet. Other than that, and a good sports bra, you’re good to go. Once you start running regularly you can invest in some proper kit but, if you’re just starting out, a t shirt and leggings or shorts will suffice.

Don’t run before you can walk

If there is one tip I can give you, it’s to start slowly. Really slowly. If you’ve never run before, the couch to 5k program is brilliant and gives you the perfect framework to aim towards running 5k. To begin with, there’s lots of walking, while you steadily build up running longer stretches. If you try to do too much too fast, you risk injury and also not enjoying it. It is meant to be fun!

Don’t do it alone

Like any exercise, it’s much more fun and more motivating if you do it with friends. If you don’t know anyone who runs, try your local area. I’m sure that there will be some beginner’s running groups or couch to 5k groups to join.

Don’t be scared

Prior to running, my only experience of group sports was at school and it was pretty miserable. It consisted of the sporty kids being amazing and getting all the praise, while the rest of us trudged in the mud and rain (it was always raining) while a PE teacher screamed and shouted. In the grown up world, people do things because they enjoy it, and are actually really supportive of each other. Once you are able to run for a bit, I heartily recommend having a go at your local Parkrun, these free, timed 5k runs are open to all and even if you walk the whole way, you won’t be alone. You’d be hard pressed to find a more friendly and supportive environment. Also, if you’re thinking of entering a run, I say go for it! Every “race” (the inverted commas are because for most of us, running events are not races and are all about the taking part) I’ve ever done has been amazing. I’ve not been to an event that wasn’t really friendly and welcoming. You might think that only top runners enter, but there is always a really wide spread of abilities at each one. I’m a very average runner and am always bang in the middle of the field. I used to be very intimidated when I turned up and there’d be lots of runners with all the right kit stretching and warming up in a very professional manner, but honestly, they’re all just normal people who like to go for a run every now and then. Most of them aren’t even that quick, I promise!

Hopefully these beginner’s running tips have given you some pointers.

Have you ever thought about taking up running? Is something holding you back? Let me and know and I’m sure I can help.

Related

Comments

  • Great tips which I only wish I could follow, sadly I am a wheelchair user #,adventure calling@_karendennis

    Reply
  • I have never ever been a runner but would love to just be able to go out and take a run. I tried the couch to 5K once and being overweight I felt a fool. I may give this a go a the gym first as feel a bit safer there.. Great tips though #adventurecalling

    Reply
  • isabel isabel May 01, at 21:48

    mhm running… I’ve tried a couple of times to get into it but always found it really hard, and once I’m improving a little, I lose everything by not running for a few days which is soooo frustrating. Maybe I should give it another go as I love the idea of it… #adventurecalling

    Reply
  • Lindsey Lindsey May 02, at 18:52

    I’m so glad you are getting back to running. Especially since it is something you enjoy! #adventurecalling

    Reply
  • Great tips. Sadly I do not think that I am made for running. My OH bought me a treadmill, and I tried a heavy duty sports bra, but my bust still ends up aching. Maybe if I can lose some weight. The couch to 5k app is a good one though!

    Reply
    • The Helpful Hiker The Helpful Hiker May 09, at 10:31

      I had to go out and buy a new sports bra post children. It makes a difference! I definitely recommend couch to 5k, I know people who have done it having never run before

      Reply
  • Lauren Lauren May 08, at 13:36

    Great stuff getting back into running! Brilliant! Been doing that myself over the last six months or so.
    I know what you mean about seeing other runners warming up. My warm up is my first mile!
    But you are right about events being really friendly and welcoming. Always really lovely people there. And entering events is a great way to keep your running mojo going too.
    Hope it all continues to go well for you.

    Reply
  • Emma Emma May 13, at 23:16

    I had to check I hadn’t written this at the beginning…I have two half marathons under my belt…but now 3 kids later and I’m very much in the Sunday lie in camp! Great post #adventurecalling

    Reply
  • Kids of the Wild Kids of the Wild May 18, at 18:15

    Darn it, I should have read this sooner, we’re doing a charity 3 mile run tomorrow and I can’t run!!! Lots of walking for me. Great tips though and thanks for carrying on the #adventurecalling linky without David

    Reply

Post Reply