Running for Beginners

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Are you a lover or hater of running?

It’s a funny thing. Some people love it, some people hate it. When I probe the haters more it is often rooted back to their school days when they were forced to run round the school playing field 10 times in the pouring rain with gale force winds! Not fun and often humiliating. If you are not comfortable going out for running, you can do same exercise with indoor spinning bike at your home.

Some people thing they just cannot run. They run for the bus and feel out of breath. That isn’t because they can’t run. It’s because they are unfit.

So, I’m going to try and persuade you to at least give it a try. Then you can at least say you tried it again and you still hate it. Humour me now please.

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The Step by Step Guide to Running for Beginners

1. Map out a route that you are going to take. Either load up Google Maps, or if you have a smart phone download a free running app like Map My Run. Make sure you pick a route that is fairly short (even just round the block is fine) and as flat as can be. Let’s not get carried away with hills just yet.

2. Rope in a friend so that you can a) not feel embarrassed going on your own and b) be held accountable to (you can’t possibly let your friend down with weak excuses as to why you can’t run!) It is always nice to have a good old natter (when your lungs allow you!) with a friend. It helps the time pass by a lot quicker.

3. Grab a bottle of water to drink on the way. Make sure you stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to start drinking.

4. Time yourself.  Either on your phone or a watch will do. It will help you in the early days to know how long to run for and what to aim for.

5. Walk on your first run. I know that doesn’t make any sense! If you are not used to walking very far then it is the best way to ease yourself in gently. Gradually start to add in a few 1 or 2 minute jogs. So you might start by walking for 5 minutes and then jog for 1 minute, walk for 5 minutes, jog for 1 minute. On your next running session you could walk for 5 minutes and then run for 2 minutes. Just see how you feel. Stop when you need to. Your early runs are all about building up stamina and getting your body muscles used to working in a different way. Eventually you will be able to run for 20 minutes straight!

6. Sign up for a 5k run. Ok, don’t panic now! This isn’t a race. Signing up for a 5k in say 6 months time is a great way to get yourself motivated to keep at it. The perfect run to do is either a Race for Life or Park Run. People of all shapes and sizes take part. Park Runs are free to enter and are all around the world.

See, not so bad eh? Just take things really slowly and listen to your body. I often hear of people getting ‘the running bug’ after they have completed 1 or 2 official runs.

Running is a great way to burn fat and calories. Just make sure you stick to the right nutrition plan, (unprocessed and as natural as possible is a good start) and you’ll start to feel fab really soon!