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Tips if you are looking to take up running for the first time

7th October 2020 Print

The events of 2020 have seen many more people take up running for the first time as a way to improve their fitness and to enjoy the fresh air after being cooped up for months. We all know what it’s been like during lockdown and the impact it’s had on our health: 2 out of 3 adults have gained weight in 2020 (increased snacking due to being at home is to blame), stress and anxiety levels have increased, and alcohol consumption is up.

It’s no wonder that people are taking up running as a way to shed those extra pounds and to feel better in themselves again. So, we thought we’d make it easy for you by rounding up our top tips when taking up running for the first time. Here goes…

First things first: start

This may sound ridiculous, but our best tip is to just start. As a newbie runner, it can be tempting to spend months thinking about how you might run, making plans, thinking about your route, and asking for advice from seasoned pros. 

Don’t waste your time – just get outside and start forming the habit. Don’t worry about pace or distance, worry about time – commit a certain amount of time to walking, or jogging, or running, just to get yourself on the path.

Don’t be afraid to walk

Take it from us – your first run, or first few runs, shouldn’t be ALL run. If you try and run for an extended piece of time when your body is not used to it, you will crash and burn the next day – which will put you off for quite a while. 

Running takes time to break into, so you need to start slowly. Try a run/walk program like the NHS’ Couch to 5K, where you can build yourself up to running a 5K in just a matter of weeks. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Take a buddy

If the idea of starting running is intimidating to you, why not make it a collaborative journey? Join a running club for beginners, ask friends to join, or even start the process with your significant other. 

This can be a great bonding tool as well as a fitness programme. You can even dress for the occasion by kitting yourselves out in matching running gear – we recommend you shop the his & hers collection at Gym King.

Do things properly

You may be a beginner, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t behave like a pro. Treat yourself like a runner from day one, which means investing time into properly warming up and cooling down. 

Warm-ups are particularly essential; don’t make the rookie mistake of ignoring how much easier they can make the whole workout for you. Cooling down is less important but is still a nice opportunity for your body to adjust back to its usual resting state. Trust us – those couple of minutes of walking will feel amazing!

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