The lovely Dorota from Isleworth Running Club has written a post to help anyone who’s thinking about starting to run with all the things you need to know.
In my opinion, nothing happens for us until we actually commit. You have to really make a conscious decision that this is what you want to do. Once this is clear in your mind and in your heart, you won’t hesitate about going for a run the next time it rains. Understand your WHY, commit, pick a start date and tell everyone about it. Hopefully, you won’t want to disappoint them.
Find Running Buddy or Join A Running Club
Most people will need some additional motivation to start running and to keep at it. One of the best methods is to find a running buddy. Ideally, someone at a similar level to you. You can then go through the journey together and share your highs and lows with each other. Or join a running club. They are full of people who are passionate about running and will do a lot to support you.
It might just happen that you will not be able to find a buddy or a running club. Nowadays, there are multitude of running apps which you can use in different ways to stay focused. You can collect distance badges/medals and setting up a weekly/monthly goal is an option. Some runners join virtual runs. Some apps have commentary and can crack jokes during your run which makes the whole experience a bit more fun. Just figure out what suits you best.
Running Shoes and Clothes
You can start with a cheaper pair of running shoes but my advice is – go to a shop and try them on. Rather than just looking pretty on your feet, your shoes should fit well and be slightly bigger than your standard walking shoes to avoid blisters or losing your toenails. No one can criticise you for going on a run in a cotton T-shirt and many people do just that. If you tend to sweat a lot and you often run in a cooler weather, you should consider a polyester running top. It will dry much faster and you won’t feel cold after the run. If you’re a woman you should invest in a sports bra. Trust me, it’s worth it.
User Training Plan
The most popular training plan for beginners is Couch to 5k (c25k). It involves a 5min warm-up, 20 to 25 min walking/jogging intervals and a 5 min cool down, 3 days a week. There is a day or two of rest in between for your body to recover. Each week, you increase the jogging and reduce the walking. This method is great because it splits your main goal into manageable chunks. Every week, you get a sense of achievement. If you don’t manage to keep up with the schedule, then repeat a week if necessary. If you feel like it’s too easy start from week 2 or 3 but always remember to have a rest day in between.
Pre & Post Run Advice
Firstly, your meal before the run should include some carbohydrates and some protein. If you have a substantial meal, then make sure you have it 2 hours before the run or 1 hour before in case of a lighter meal.
Secondly, warm up before the run by doing a few minutes of brisk walking. You are then less likely to get out of breath too quickly or get a stitch.
Thirdly, cooling down after helps you lower your heart rate and slow down your breathing gradually so you avoid feeling dizzy. Also, when you keep moving after the run it helps your lymphatic system to get rid of lactic acid from your muscles.
Fourthly, do some stretches of your quads, hip flexors, calves and hamstrings to prevent cramps, relax muscles and makes them more flexible.
Finally, have some protein after then run to help your body recover and be ready for the next challenge.
Are you inspired? Check out the Isleworth Running Club for their runs for runners of all levels.