There are hundreds of good reasons to start running; weight loss and getting fit are the most commonly cited, but the benefits extend much further - from reduced stress, to building bone density, to getting a good dose of sunlight, and many more.
But if you’re reading this you probably already have your own “why”. What you’re looking for is a “how”.
So, just for you, we’ve put together an easy guide for complete beginners on how to start running.
Just try it
One of the best things about running is that it’s so uncomplicated. You just step out of the door and get on with it. There are a few things to consider first, which we’ll cover here, but we wanted to start by emphasising that the most important thing to do is just get out and give it a go. You can worry about fixing imperfections in your gait and getting expensive technical gear later, for now just focus on building up some fitness and getting into the habit of regular running.
Plan your runs
To make sure life, work, family (and other excuses!) don’t stop you running before you even start, put the dates and times when you’re going to run in the diary. You don’t have to plan months ahead at this stage, just schedule three jogging sessions per week of about half an hour (or whatever you’re comfortable with) to dedicate solely to running. Make a commitment to stick to it, getting into a regular routine of running on particular days is one of the best ways to ensure it becomes a habit.
It’s important to warm up before running to avoid injury and also to make running more comfortable. If you’re just starting to run or going out for a light jog, there’s no need for this to be a major operation, however. Five minutes of brisk walking or stair climbing should do it. You might also like to try some of the dynamic stretches described here.
Seeing all those thousands of people running the London Marathon on TV every April gives some people the impression that running is easy… “If all those people of all shapes and sizes can do it, so can I. Right?” Well, yes, with lots of training you almost certainly can. But, if you’re a complete beginner you will probably find running challenging at first and trying to do too much too soon could leave you ill, injured, disappointed and vowing never to bother with running again! So take it easy, start with easy jogging and build up gradually.
Goal setting is a tried and tested strategy in exercise and most experts and coaches recommend it. A defined goal gives you something to aim for, which will keep you motivated and help you plan how to get where you want to be. While you’re a beginner runner, set goals that will challenge you and require progression, but not so lofty that they take months or years to achieve. Sure, you can work towards running that marathon eventually, but when you first start to run try aiming for jogging a 5k (or maybe 10k if you find you can run a few miles easily). Here’s a plan which will help you run your first 5k.
Don’t stress about achieving your goals and don’t worry about how fast you can run at this stage, when you’re just starting out the best thing to do is simply focus on enjoying it. If you need to walk for a while during your run, that’s fine, most people do at first. You might like to try listening to music or an audiobook, inviting friends along to chat to, or running on a picturesque route, whatever will make it the most fun for you.
Beginners, get fit, how to start exercising, How to start jogging, how to start running, running, start running, Weight Loss