5 TIPS FOR BEGINNER RUNNERS
We all need to start somewhere, whether you are just starting out in to running or getting back from an injury, these tips are here to help you get out and start running. Here are a few tips to help you stop calling yourself a beginner and start calling yourself a runner!
1. FIND YOUR PACE
It takes time to find your pace BUT it’s quite important. Your body needs to get used to the new stresses of running. Beginners often start out running too fast and this can result in some issues – injuries, exhaustion, stopping or frustration that you can’t keep the pace up.
Try and run where you can easily hold a conversation, if you cannot hold a conversation, slow down. This is just a tip for a beginner starting out, if you are wanting to go out for a casual run, then go out with a friend and have a chat with them. I often find I run fast when I’m with a friend and stop focusing on my time and just having a chat with my running buddy.
There is also nothing wrong with walking, Jeff Galloway who is the king of the walk/run technique has researched hard and has found out that:
-run/walk helps improve times
-helps beginner runners increase distance
-reduce the chance of injury and over training
-help you get past the ‘wall’
Find out more here
I feel that this is one of the most important things for beginner runners – kit. Kit can be expensive but if you want to feel comfortable, reduce the chance of injury and give you the best chance at continuing with running, investing in kit is what you need to do.
The old pair of shoes that you’ve had for 10 years, the cotton anything that you’re going to wear or the sports bra that isn’t quite the right size. These are going to cause more damage to you than actually helping you get out and run.
Probably the most expensive item you have to buy to run. I have often had people come to me and ask if a specific pair of shoes would be good for them to buy and my answer is always the same – “do they provide the right support for you?”. If you don’t know, go get a free analysis from any good running shop near you. It is so important that the shoes are right for your style of running, neutral, extra support, overpronation etc. Running shops can suggest some shoes for you; you DO NOT have to buy them. Get an idea of what shoes they recommend and then google the cheaper alternatives. I spent a year paying out for a pair of shoes (over £100) and found a chart that gave me a suitable alternative which I can now buy in the outlet stores for less than £60! I now have had 4 pairs of these shoes and so far, no issues.
Cotton is a big no for runners, no matter what your ability. Once it gets wet, it stays wet. You’re more likely to chafe, it isn’t breathable and something it’s just heavy. Having a technical fabric is definitely the best way to go – but that’s expensive I hear you say – this is not a plug for the shop BUT Decathlon have such cheap sporting clothing. You can find clothing in there for less than £3. Investing just £15-£20 into a full outfit of technical & breathable materials will really help you in the long run.
We need to look after our boobs. Wired bras are not going to cut it. Many shops will fit the right size for you for your chest – this way you know what will really protect them. So many shops sells sports bra’s for cheap, make sure that you look after them; a normal day bra is not the way to do it.
You do not need to have all the gear and no idea, but just having the basics will help. Stores sell sports kit for very cheap prices, investing in this will certainly help with your running future – it’s to protect your body, reduce injury and help you enjoy it.
My outfit is from decathlon – shoes from the New Balance outlet.
Fuelling is important- but also, don’t take it as a chance to refuel too much once you have finished your run.
A good way to follow for fuelling is to consume around 200 to 400 calories of mostly complex carbs and a little bit of protein 1.5 hours prior to your run. Your body needs time to digest the food and fuel to provide energy for your run.
If you’re only running between 30-60 minutes, you will only need water for your run. Any longer than this, then you will need carbohydrates, these will replenish your body’s blood glucose and muscle carbohydrate stores – a few ideas for you; sports drinks, gels, energy bars, or jellies. As a beginner, find what works for you, it may take some time to get it right for your stomach.
Once you have finished your run, it is important to replenish your stores. Don’t go crazy! I love a good post run treat, but make sure it’s really going to be replenishing your stores and not just adding on the extra calories you’ve just worked off.
Looking after your body is essential, especially the muscles that you are using for running. Stretching is often overlooked before or after a workout. Stretching your muscles is essential.
Stretching before a run helps warm up the muscles, this can help reduce injury.
Doing it after a run enhances flexibility, getting them back to their original length and reduces muscle tension/soreness.
5. ENJOY YOURSELF
An important lesson to remember – enjoy yourself!!
No matter what size, what pace, what age, what body type, what time – you are a runner. Enjoy that moment and remember that have fun.