Consider yourself a running novice? Brave the road with our beginners guide to pounding the pavement

Words Joy Montgomery

Whether you’ve never been the ‘running type’ or your idea of exercise is running for the bus, starting a proper exercise routine can be an incredibly daunting task. However, with small steps and whole lot of willpower we think it’s possible to achieve your weight loss goals. We’ve rounded up the best running tips for those starting out. From what to wear to where to run, we’ve covered all the bases…

STARTING OUT: COMMON RUNNING Q’S

How do I get started?

Firstly, it’s important to not overstretch yourself when starting out. Try brisk walking for a comfortable amount of time – from ten to 30 minutes. Once this feels easy then try adding in small bursts of running for a couple of minutes at a time. As time goes on you will be able to make these intervals longer. But don’t put pressure on yourself – easing yourself in will ensure that you don’t become disheartened. Remember: even if it’s just a ten-minute jog, any exercise is better than sitting on the sofa at home! Slow and steady wins the race…

What equipment do I need?

Finding quality running shoes is the most important part of your kit. Good trainers will support and fit your foot properly to reduce the chance of blisters and arch pain. Furthermore, they will absorb the impact that occurs during running, protecting your joints from damage. When purchasing trainers it’s best to visit a professional running shop as they will be able to offer you proper assistance and advice.

The rest of your kit is less important – the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident. However, you may find that wicking fabrics are the best for keeping you cool and dry. Check out our round-up of the chicest fitness brands here.

Where should I run?

You can run either outside or on a treadmill – neither is superior to the other. Creating a regular routine is far more important than finding a perfect solution. Treadmills are useful for avoiding adverse weather conditions and, long distance-wise, they are better for your joints as the surface is more cushioned that the pavement.

On the other hand, running outside can be a nice excuse to get fresh air (especially if you work in an office). Ideally, pick somewhere well lit and peaceful with a variety of inclines. When working out an outdoor route creating a loop can make things easier, as it will enable you to set milestone goals and challenge yourself. 

beginners guide to running

3 WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED

Running with a friend or group

Finding running buddies will help keep you on track. When it’s dark and miserable outside, knowing someone is waiting for you is a great motivator! Find someone at a similar level to you who is working towards a similar goal. Alternatively, google local running groups – these are great for those living in the city who don’t fancy jogging round dark parks by themselves.

Set a goal/Follow a plan

Whatever it is, setting yourself a goal is a good way to stay motivated. An easy way to do this is to sign up for a race or charity fun run 5k (an ideal distance for beginners to aim for). You can also get involved in park runs which are held in parks across the country or try a running app such as couch to 5k.

Mix it up

Once you’ve found your stride (sorry) it’s good to avoid monotony by mixing things up regularly. Try varying your distances, paces and routes. For example, if you’ve been sticking to a steady jog then try interval sprints or, if you need a change of scene, go and discover your local running track.

What are you waiting for? Get running!

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