Whenever someone sprints pass me on my daily walk/attempted run, I can’t help but feel envious of how effortless they make running seem. Like how are you looking like you should be featured on the cover of Runners World while I’m here lumbering along? Well, just like starting a new job, starting from scratch can feel super intimidating.
But honestly, there’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t be lacing up their running shoes. A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that running for just 30 minutes per week can improve sleep quality, mood and concentration. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably used the “my old ankle injury stops me from running” excuse, well you’re gonna have to find a new excuse. Studies show that running can help to increase bone mineral density, making your bones stronger and slowing the ageing process related to bone loss.
If you’re gonna take up running, you’re gonna need a good sports bra. This one is designed to give full coverage and support.
If you’re still feeling nervous about catching the running bug — don’t stress, I chatted to Sean Tait, a running coach from Off The Mark, to get you all the tips on how to start (and keep) running.
READ MORE: 5 Common Causes Of Chest Pain While Running
Now Let’s Get In (Form)ation
You wouldn’t just go into most things blindly, so treat running in a similar way. If it’s your very first time running, then it’s a good idea to set up a form assessment with a local run coach. This will prep you with the basics and ensure that you’re running correctly and safely. Running correctly is crucial for reducing the risk of injury and improving your speed.
Find A Running Partner
Hate doing things alone? Sean suggests grabbing a buddy to help keep you committed or better yet, join a running club! “A partner can also make your runs seem to pass a lot quicker, as usually there will be some dialogue that forces you to think of something other than how far you still have to run. There’s also a big benefit in safety in numbers too,” he says.
Commit To A Training Schedule That Is Sustainable
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you feel that you can’t commit to running every day, then find a schedule that works for you. “Rather start at three runs per week and keep the consistency for a few weeks. You can always add a 4th and 5th, and so on at a later stage. This will also lower the risk of doing too much running before your body is actually ready,” explains Sean.
Find The Right Shoe
Mix Up The Surfaces
When you start running, it can be very tempting to just stick to one kind of terrain but Sean suggests mixing things up. “Do some running on the grass, perhaps an interval or track session. You could also move one of your weekly runs to the trails, once you start doing longer runs. It’s been proven that our risk of chronic injuries is lower when mixing up the surfaces, as the impact stress are less repetitive,” he explains.
Let’s Hit The Road
Okay, so are you ready to run? Sean designed this programme to help ease you into running — perfect for the absolute beginner. You can save or print this training schedule to follow along to.