Beginner’s guide to running
HERE’S some expert advice on getting started at running. Because if you feel you want to get started on a new fitness regime then running could be the best option for you – and it’s never too late to start. Slimpod stars Darin McCloud and Becca Jones, who have both run the London Marathon, add their top tips, too.
Running for four to five hours in a week burns on average one pound of fat and releases endorphins which encourage good feelings (known as the runner’s high) so it’s a fantastic way to build up your fitness then maintain it.
Let’s break it down into simple steps.
BEFORE YOU GET GOING
Firstly, get the go ahead from your GP so you can make sure you’re in a fit state to start working on a new regime. Find yourself a running buddy, ideally someone who is a beginner just like you and the same sex.
Darin says: “Make sure you have the right kit to be fit! Go to a decent running shop (not an all purpose sports warehouse) and get a good pair of trainers”
It’s best to run off road, such as in a park, as a hard surface isn’t great for your joints – so if there is somewhere off-road where you can run, that’s the best option
Make sure that you have water and keep hydrated; you should be drinking 100ml for every 20 minutes of running. Remember, your body needs to get used to running. Take it slow so that it can adapt and eventually you will get into the routine of running!
Becca says: “Set yourself some short and long term achievements; don’t jump into big short term goals but work towards something great in the future, for example a 5k sponsored run.”
Here’s the best way to get your body into running: first of all walk for two minutes and then jog for one. Do this five or six times until your muscles and ligaments are looser and it’s a little easier. Make sure the jog isn’t too fast, just faster than walking.
Once you’ve got a good rhythm going, start jogging for two minutes at a time and continue with two minutes of walking. After that you can increase the jog to three minutes, and once you feel more comfortable running for three, you can decrease the walking time to one minute.
Darin says: “Always keep a running log, it’s a great way of keeping up with what you’ve managed to do and for how long – this way you can track your progress.”
KEEP IT GOING
Once you’ve got into a good running routine, and feel able to jog non-stop for up to 30 minutes, you can add new challenges. You can run slowly over a longer distance, or maybe add uphill parts to your running route. Try running fast for five minutes as well as jogging, and keep changing speed as part of the same workout
Becca says: “Try to be consistent and run every day so your body can get used to the rhythm of your new fitness regime, even if some days you don’t do as much time and distance as you did the day before.”
Darin says: “Make sure you have a good gentle stretch after running to avoid injuries.”