OK, so you really want to add a bit of cardio into your fitness routine & running is the most straightforward right? Right! But somehow there’s something stopping you getting out there?
Try thinking about it this way & you’ll soon be flying!
- Comfort – so there’s some really funky kit out there, but you can run without it…focus first on getting a decent pair of trainers. Try to visit a specialist running shop to get their expert opinion on getting the right fit for you or get your existing shoes checked out. Your feet will swell & lengthen during a run so wriggle room for toes is a must as is an extra thumb width between the end of your shoe & your longest toe…..and that’s not always your big toe! Ladies ensure you are wearing a supportive sports bra, no matter what your size and breathable socks and undies are a must for all!
- Safety – It’s really getting into Autumn now so make sure you keep safe by being seen, wear something fluorescent that car & bike lights can pick up & try to choose footpaths & trails rather than share the road. Autumn leaves are just made for running through!
- Commit – make that diary entry! It’s so easy to tell yourself you will go twice a week then become busy with something so much more important – like tidying your sock drawer. If it’s an early morning run you are aiming for then prep your kit the night before. All you have to do is roll out of bed, slip that kit on & go – no thinking required!
- Support – Try to get a running buddy or even an app to keep you on track. It’s not always easy to ensure your buddy is available when you are so an an app like the NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ app is awesome. Once you start to use it you’ll be amazed how many people you bump into in the park who are following same app – you’ll soon recognise each other & nod to acknowledge the fellow beginner runner on their journey to 5k.
- Warm up – by including dynamic leg swings, squats & lunges before you begin you will minimise pulls & strains so set off slowly & ease your body in gently.
- Walk – Don’t be afraid to take walk breaks if you need to – think of it as active rest & set yourself a time limit e.g 1 minute at a time, you’ll soon see the need to walk gradually reduce.
- Strength – Add some strength exercise to your programme – not just for your legs but your core too! Include glute bridges, side lunges as well as planks (don’t forget side planks). These can all be done with body weight so no need for equipment!
- Log your runs – You’ll soon see your minutes and miles add up. An old notebook will do or any free running app such as Runkeeper will help you acknowledge just how well you are doing.
- Don’t look like they do on TV? – Don’t worry if you sweat a lot or look like a red tomato on legs – what you look like really doesn’t matter. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and each one is competing only with themselves. You’re getting out there aren’t you? – being amazing with each extra minute you do.
- Eat afterwards – HEALTHILY! No, that doesn’t mean you now deserve a doughnut! Learn how to replace the calories you will have burned without creating a surplus. On your return try eating a small protein/carb rich snack then give yourself 20 minutes to see if you really are still hungry. Still want to reward yourself – instead of a cheat meal, maybe get yourself some extra special shower gel or bath soak that you wouldn’t dare use every day & use it after each run. It says “Well done you, you are special!
Remember – you ARE a runner, whatever your speed or distance. Have you ever seen someone out & about pretending to run? Me neither! Go and enjoy!