Hit the ground running

Looking to get into running? Follow our guide to stepping out...

Are you determined to get fitter this new year? Though the first month is nearly over, it’s never too late to start exercising regularly and running is one of the most accessible kinds there is. Aside from a good pair of trainers, all you need is the determination to try, some spare time and a safe route or a treadmill. Here are some tips to help you create and keep the habit, for a fitter and healthier 2018. 

Get some practice in

If you haven’t been doing regular exercise for a while, it may be a good idea to build your fitness levels with some regular walking before starting to run regularly.

Invest in a good pair of shoes

Check the status of your trainers. Running experts recommend you replace your trainers every 300–500 miles, but if you’ve got an old pair in the cupboard that you haven’t used in years, it’s probably worth investing in a new pair from a specialist running shop, who can advise you on the best shoes for your needs.

Planning is key

If you struggle to get the motivation to go running, try and plan your runs so you know what you’re doing and when, or try a running programme like the NHS’s Couch to 5k, which aims to get people running 5km in nine weeks.

Patience is a virtue

Another key thing to remember is that patience is key. It’s much better to start slow and build up than to overextend on your first run and injure yourself, meaning you can’t run and can’t make any progress at all. If you’re struggling to see progress, try using an app to track your runs, like Nike Running Club, which shows you your pace across the whole of your run, and has useful measures like splits that show how your running is becoming more consistent over time. The app also has achievements, including your fastest mile, fastest 5km and fastest 10km, which can help you recognise your progress as well.

Make a playlist

Make your running experience even better by creating your own custom playlist for running, including energising and inspiring music with a decent tempo to keep you moving. If you’re not a fan of music, try listening to podcasts while running, which can entertain and educate for free, with thousands available on Spotify, the App Store and others.

Run with friends

Another way to make running more enjoyable is to join a running club, such as the Clifton Running Club or the Southville Running Club, which can make your running a more social experience, and encourage you to meet your goals, and run faster and further. They can provide support and encouragement for when you’re finding things tough, as well as advice for problems you may be having, or how to take your running to the next level. An alternative is Parkrun, a 5km run every Sunday held in hundreds of parks across the UK.

Take part

If you’ve already been running regularly for a while, and are looking to take your running to the next level, why not sign up for a 5k, 10k, or even a half marathon or marathon, depending on how ambitious you feel? The SimplyHealth Great Bristol Run is a 10km happening on 13 May 2018, and the SimplyHealth Bristol Half Marathon happens annually in September, taking place on the 23rd this year.

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