Your First Run: Ready for a Challenge?

Do you feel like you’ve reached your peak with walking?

As we’ve already discussed, walking is the perfect way to start getting an active life, but if you’re hoping to lose some weight and get yourself into tip-top shape then you may want to consider taking up running. Although many see the difference between walking and running as a matter of pace, the increased effort causes your entire body more exertion, therefore burning more calories and further toning your muscles.

Take a look at our top tips for running success before you jump head first into your new regime:

Buy suitable running shoes

Unless you shelled out a lot of money on your first pair of trainers, chances are that you’ll need to buy some new ones before you head out onto the road. Running causes much more impact on your knees and ankles than walking, which is why it’s crucial to buy good quality running shoes. Purpose-built running shoes feature support and cushioning that will take the brunt of the impact and reduce your chance of injuring yourself.

Start slowly, then build pace/distance

Although it can be tempting to get as much distance done as soon as possible, you should ease yourself into your new hobby. Running too fast (or too far) too soon could result in an injury that sets you back for months. The best way to transition from walking to running is by training in intervals, this means running for a short amount of time and then walking as a rest; this plan explains this concept in more detail.

Listen to your body

Paying attention to how your body feel is paramount to running success. Whilst soreness and fatigue during exercise is to be expected to a certain extent, if you’re in a serious amount of pain you should stop and re-assess the situation. A sharp pain in your ankles or knees could suggest that your footwear isn’t quite up to snuff, but it might also point to a more significant issue. If you’re in pain then it’s important that you stop straight away, running through the injury could worsen it. See your GP or a sports therapist if you’re in doubt.

Get into a routine

Although starting a new running regime may feel a little daunting at first, you’ll find that it becomes easier the more that you do it. Unfortunately, the weather might not always be on your side but you can’t let this deter your from getting outside. A run in the rain can be quite invigorating, just make sure to wear a waterproof coat to protect from the worst of the elements. The important thing is to stick to your routine and try not to be deterred by any hiccups along the way.

Book your first race

Running in a race is a thrilling experience that can make for great motivation throughout your training period. It feels good to be working towards something and the added pressure of a deadline may make you more committed to your regime. Starting out with a 5k run is a good idea, these are usually very relaxes and will have runners of all abilities competing. Once you’ve built your confidence and your stamina, you can then think about tackling longer distances.

Best of luck!