So you’d like to get running?
Getting started is the hardest part, so here’s a few tips on how to get outside and get going.
First of all there are two important bits of kit that you need as a female runner – good shoes and a good bra! Just about everything else, you can cobble together from existing clothing for now. A visit to a reputable local running shop will set you up for success.
Next, there’s a bit of planning. You need to allocate some time every week when you are going to run. The ideal is to have 3 runs per week, but 2 could work. It’s also useful to have thought through where you’ll run. Routes with not too much traffic (or road crossings), smooth surfaces, flat gradients will all help you to keep going. It it’ll be dark, think about street lighting too.
So you know when and where, you have your new shoes and bra, you’ve thrown on some trackie bottoms and some layers of clothing and you’re ready to try it. The biggest mistake that you can make now is to go off too fast! If you’re not used to running, it will take some time for your body to adapt to the new demands that it places on your body, so being gentle with yourself is the key. Start with a walk / run approach so that you intersperse short periods of slow running with recovery walks.
Our beginners 6 week programme builds the duration of the runs from 8 x 1 minute runs with 2 minute walk intervals through to 2 x 15 minute runs and eventually the ability to run non-stop for 30 minutes.
Start with this walk / run method and increase the run duration for your 3 runs each week. The idea is to not surprise your body too much. Expect to get a few aches and niggles and listen to your body. If you continue to hurt after 10 minutes into exercise, STOP! Allow yourself to recover before you start again.
After your run it’s very important to stretch after your run. As we get older, so our muscles need more help to elongate and relax after exercise. See the runnyhoneys stretch chart. And make sure that you drink some water and take on a snack (nuts and raisins are ideal…I know what you’re thinking!)
All you have to do then, is keep going! Help yourself with some self motivation. Keep a diary of your runs and see how you’re progressing. Give yourself a treat after 2 weeks of sticking to the plan. You’re on your way to becoming a runner. It will become “your thing”, your time which gives you headspace and makes you feel alive! Good luck.