13 Aug 2014

LIFE: 5 tips for running from a newbie runner


I mentioned a couple of months ago that I had kind of taken up running, and now that I've managed to stick to it for two and a half months I thought I'd share a few tips that I've found useful when it comes to starting out. Before I started running I was incredibly unfit, it was a long time since I'd properly exercised and I didn't have the best diet (I still don't if I'm being honest). I am in no way any kind of health or fitness expert, but these are just a few simple things that I think you should bear in mind if you're thinking about or just starting running.

IT'S OKAY TO BE SLOW
When I first started running I struggled to run for more than a couple of minutes without a walking break. I still do struggle, but it gets a lot easier if you just stick at it. Don't be disheartened if you feel like you're lacking in progress, the best things take time and just be proud of yourself for getting up off of the sofa in the first place.

INVEST IN THE RIGHT SHOES
Seriously, your feet will thank you. They don't need to be ridiculously expensive but they do need to do the job right and do it well. The best thing to do is to get advice from someone who really knows their stuff, then do a bit of research and find a pair that suit your budget. My running shoes were actually an early birthday present from my parents and despite being Nike they only cost a tiny £29 at our local outlet store. Plus they're a really pretty colour, which makes me want to wear them more. It's something worth looking in to if you're serious about keeping it up.

A SPORTS BRA IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND
Ladies, this is important. Even if you're not particularly well endowed it's still essential that you get the necessary support when exercising. When tissues stretch they won't stretch back and nobody wants a saggy chest! The best sports bra should fit well, it should be snug but shouldn't restrict your breathing (duh!). Places like Primark, Forever 21 and Sports Direct offer a really great range of affordable exercise-wear for all shapes and sizes. I particularly like Primark's range as they have your good ol' basics as well as some prettier extras like patterned running t-shirts and matching jackets. A girl can still be fashionable when exercising!

MAKE THE MOST OF THE TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE
These days there is literally an app for everything, and running is no different. No matter what operating system you use there will be an app for you with the vast majority being free to download. I personally like Nike+ which is free on iPhone & Android and allows you to map out your run, analyse your speed and even compete against your friends. I find something like this really handy as the push notifications can provide a burst of motivation and it's great to see just how much progress you are making.

DON'T OVERDO IT
Probably the most important piece of advice here is not to go too crazy. When I first started out I wanted to run every day and that wreaked havoc on my bones & muscles. It's difficult going at first and if you're as unfit as me it will be painful the day after, so don't force yourself. You have to be realistic with your abilities and work to a programme that suits you. Who cares if you can only run for one minute before needing a break? You are making a conscious effort to improve your fitness and that can be difficult. Like I said before, just be proud of the fact that you have put on your trainers and walked out of your front door.

So there we have it! Are you a runner or is it something you'd fancy trying? If you have any other tips to share please leave them in the comments, I for one am always on the look out for new ones. x
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