Start Running

em>Start Running, get fit, sound good?

Everyone talks about how they should start running to ‘get fit’ but how many people actually run on a regular basis, well it is thought to be about 20% of people, of the other 80% over 60% have either considered running or have tried and given up at some point. So as you can see there are a lot of us out there who are thinking about trying to start running.

Whether you are coming back from an injury, some time away from fitness or if you have never before considered running then hopefully we can give you some hints and tips to get moving and start running.

Running is a fantastic form of exercise, it will keep you or get you fit, it makes you healthier, and it will make you happier, bold claims but if you commit to running the it will commit to you. So where do you start.

First thing to do is get checked out by a doctor, if you get the thumbs up then you can go into your new phase with confidence that you can push yourself and reach your goals. Once you have the all clear you should invest in some good trainers and running clothing. If you decide further down the line that running is not for you then you can always sell the items on EBay but the truth is, if you try running around the block in your old plimsolls then you run the risk of injury and your running career will be over before it starts! Your running clothes should include good socks, underwear (designed to keep things in place whether this be good underpants or a sports bra), shorts, and a lightweight running top. These are the essential pieces of clothing for anyone wishing to start running

Once you have your clean bill of health and your running gear you are almost ready to start running. The next stage in your development is to plan the route you intend to run, if you have never run or have not run for a long time it will be hard to judge how far you will be able to run. Because of this, it is going to be worth planning a sensible route. Personally, I have a circular route that runs down the side of a canal; the beauty about this route is that there are several places that I can cross the canal and run towards my car on the other side. This means that if I set off but find that I only want to do a short fast run I can but if I am feeling good, I can easily extend the run at any point, because I do the run on a frequent basis I have worked out various distances using Google Earth. By mapping out my route, I can work out how far I have run. By running in a rural area around a canal, I put my run in a beautiful setting and so associate running with beautiful surroundings and happy times. You need to do something similar, even if you begin with a short circular route that you can get round in ten minutes, once you get back to the car or your house then you can make the decision about whether you have the energy to go around again, this keeps you in control. Many people set of running and don’t turn back towards their home or car until they start to feel tired, by the time they realise they are still two miles from the finish and have a massive blister it is too late. When you start running you should not push yourself too hard to quickly, let you body get used to the pounding on the ground and let your tendons and muscles stretch and get to grips with what you are asking them to do after a long time of doing very little.

Now you are almost ready to start running, you have your route, your clothes, and your clean bill of health. Here are a few final hints and tips to make it good fun for you on your run.

I run with my two dogs, they love it and are both pretty well trained so they have a sniff and then catch me up. My Labrador actually runs at the side of me a lot of the time, my little terrier is a bit more of a pain as he enjoys sniffing other dog’s bums so takes a while to catch up but if I’m having a steady run then I will always take them with me. If I am running to work or go running straight from work then I usually take my i-pod and listen to music, don’t do this if you are road running as you need to be able to hear the traffic but on off road runs it can really help you set a pace, increase your pace or pass the time. I struggle when I can hear my own breath so music stops a lot of that.

Final tips include make sure you warm up, read up about dynamic stretching to warm up, these are stretches that involve movements such as jumping jacks, squats and star jumps. When you have finished running you need to cool down, this is where static stretches come in, these are the more traditional stretches.

We hope we have given you some good hints and tips that will allow you to start running with confidence.