Running Tips For Beginners

For quite some time I've wanted to introduce a little fitness to my blog, I've always been a little hesitant about writing/talking about fitness on my blog as I do feel certain subjects are best left to the professionals…something I certainly ain't. However, I really wanted to share some simple running tips for beginners. Over the years I've improved so much with my running, I'm always striving to improve my time and technique. There are so many mistakes and certain aspects of running that I overlooked at the start of my running journey, today I thought I'd share some tips that I really wish I'd known at the start -

1. Have some structure - Don't be an eager beaver!
When I first started running the temptation to throw on some trainers and pound the pavements was all too much to resist. Although the 'go hard or go home' approach is natural when introducing something new in your life I think it was one of my biggest mistakes, my fitness level just wasn't there and by pushing my joints and over training I only caused injury. If you are new to running (no matter what your fitness level or even if you have attempted running before) build up slowly, take your time and good things will come. After causing injury I decided to attempt the Bupa 5K Training plan, no matter what your running ability or fitness level I highly recommend interval training (walk/run combination) to ease your way into running. The training plan made running so much more enjoyable, I felt like I could accomplish more, my runs were more successful. The training plan allowed me to work on my breathing, strengthen my joints and although the challenge intensifies I found that I could run for so much longer without stopping.

2. Get the right sportswear
When I first began running I underestimated the need for good quality running shoes, I was happy to make do at the start and although my trainers were of good quality they weren't offering near enough the amount of support I needed. You don't need the most expensive pair of trainers to start out with, but I would highly recommend purchasing some sort of trainer specifically for running, right from the start. By wearing trainers that offered zero support I caused myself more injury before, after and even during my run, it wasn't good for my joints at all.

Everyone always assumes if you are flat chested you don't need a sports bra, this advice couldn't be more wrong! No matter what your boob size you can can pull muscles and cause strain - it's an essential for running, look for the words 'high endurance' ...my favourites are Shockabsorber nothing comes close to the amount of support I get with a Shockabsorber bra. For something more affordable though M&S & H&M also do some great ones.

Depending on how serious you get about running you may find yourself having to adjust your kit for different seasons throughout the year. All year round I wear Lycra bottoms as I find that they don't restrict my movement, the material is breathable and light - perfect for running. During the winter time it's all about layers, invest in a good base layer and a quality running jacket. Don't forget your running cap and gloves. If you are running at night you'll also need something high vis (safety first.) Of course, all these thing's are not essential at the start but worth thinking about over time.

3.  Remember to warm up and cool down - It will make you a better runner!
I'll be the first to admit there are days where I skip a warm up/cool down and I tell you what those days are certainly never forgotten…there the days where my run feels harder, the days where my joints burn the next day (not the good kind of burn.) Never underestimate the power of a good warm up, when I first began running I did a few static stretches and headed out more recently I've discovered that dynamic movements get my blood pumping, make me feel warm and improve my breathing. With a good warm up I can push myself that little bit further, there's less pressure on my joints and I'm less likely to cause injury. A cool down allows me to stretch everything out, I usually opt for static stretches during the cool down. Some to try - Kelli's Quick cool down, Yoga with Adriene - Warm up & cool down Blogilates Pumped up cardio warm up 

4. Stay motivated
Staying motivated with running can be hard, I had to accept right from the start that progress would take time but even for the most patient of us it can feel frustrating. Here are a few tips I felt like I needed at the start to spur me on -

Work on your technique
In exercises such as Yoga we constantly improve posture, think about our practice, our movements, our breathe and in return this allows us to get stronger. Do the same with running. Think about your posture, stand tall head high, breathe deeply. As soon as you start to make small tweaks it really does help.

Download an app or keep a diary
Keeping a note of how you feel, your distance and time can really encourage you and motivate you. When I saw the miles clocking up on my Nike running app it made me more determined to continue, improve and clock up even more miles!

Set yourself a goal
Whatever your running ability setting challenge is a useful way to stay motivated, training for a race such as a 5k really helps me stick to my training plan. If races aren't your thing you can even set yourself small personal goals (e.g. I'd like to run 5k in under 30 minutes.)

Don't forget to mix it up 
Running the same route can feel like groundhog day and can soon turn running into a chore. Vary your distances and routes, changing up your route on a regular basis keeps things fresh! 

What are your favourite running tips? How do you stay motivated with fitness? 

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