12 Nov Run Girl Run- Tips For Starting Out
First you will need to think about what you want to achieve from running. What are your goals? Is it to lose weight, to increase general fitness or to compete either against others or against yourself?
Starting out– if you’re a beginner you should start with brisk walking, progress to jogging throughout your walk and try to increase each time you go out for a run/walk. Setting yourself small goals is a great way to build up your stamina and running ability “I’ll just run to the end of this track” or “I’ll just run for this song”. This may take a few months but believe me it will be rewarding and you’re interval training without even realising! There are also some amazing apps out there that will map your run and monitor your development. “Map my Run” is an app that maps your route using a GPS and records your times and speeds so that you can compare and watch yourself improve and develop with time. Music is also a great motivator- there are just some songs out there that you can’t help but want to run too (or dance)!
General fitness – mixing running with other forms of exercise (such as swimming or team sports) to maximise your overall fitness is a great idea. Otherwise look at mixing it up a little- throw in a sprint here and there or do some hill work.
Weight loss – adjust your diet to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, wholegrain cereals and low fat dairy products. Cut back on dietary fats, takeaway foods, soft drinks and sugar. And again- incorporate interval training into your session.
Companionship – running with a friend is a great way to keep motivated and also to push that little bit further. If you don’t have anyone to run with there a plenty of local running clubs that focus on personal bests or PB’s. “Park Run” is an international running club that meets in various locations across the globe to run! The course is generally over easy terrain and is 5km- each runner is given a barcode that records their time which is then posted on the “Park Run” website for your viewing. This is a fantastic way to meet new and inspirational people and to keep pushing yourself to achieve your best!
Competition – some running clubs may offer competitive events and offer sessions designed for beginners through to advanced runners. Of course there are always fun runs, marathons or community-based running events that cater for people of all ages and abilities.
Some general tips for beginners: See your doctor for a check-up before you start a running program. This is especially important if you are over 40 years, are overweight, have a chronic illness or haven’t exercised in a long time. Always ensure you warm up and stretch thoroughly before you head out and cool your body down with light stretches when you return. Ensure you have plenty of fluids and take a water bottle with you on your run. Try to drink plenty of water before, during and after any activity. Don’t forget to wear comfortable and breathable running clothes a hat and apply SPF 30+ sunscreen to exposed skin areas.