1. Start with Run/walk intervals
If you’re new to running build up slowly with run/walk intervals. For example, begin with 2 mins running, 2 mins walking. Then as your running fitness improves increase the run interval time and reduce the walking interval time.
2. Don’t worry about your pace
It’s easy to get caught up with how fast you are running. To begin with, try not to stress about the time, leave the watch at home and enjoy the process of improving!
3. Listen to your body
Make sure to include rest days and listen to your body! If you’re aching from a tough run, dial the next one back or take a rest day if needed. A day off will do much more good than struggling through a run in the long term.
4. Consistency is key
The key to improving as a runner is to keep showing up! It’s much better to have several good weeks of training week after week than one excellent week every now and then.
5. You don’t need fancy kit
There are tonnes of gadgets and kit out there which can help with running. They can be a great way to help you improve your training but they are not essentials. Enjoy the simplicity of lacing up your trainers and heading out the door for a run!
6. Mix it up
Sometimes running can be monotonous especially if you do the same thing every time! Throw in some variations including hill reps, intervals or beach running to keep things interesting.
7. Run with a friend or as part of a group
Running is a great way to have some quiet time to think things through and de-stress. But it can also be nice to run with others. Why not try running with a friend or as part of a running group? It can be a great way of meeting new people or catching up with friends whilst being active.
8. Include some strength training
Including some strength training can reduce the risk of injury and help improve your running. You don’t have to go to the gym, body weight exercises can be done anywhere at anytime!
9. Set goals and make them S.M.A.R.T.
To stay motivated with your training, set some S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound) goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are also handy to track how your running is improving. Set a long term goal that you would like to achieve and break it down into short and medium term goals to keep you on the right tracks along the way.
10. If you run, then you are a runner!
Very commonly, runners who may not be the quickest in the group or have just taken up running do not consider themselves worthy to be called a ‘runner’. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run, if you run you are a runner!