Running, you may either love it or loath it. I’m not a great runner, nor an experienced runner but 2 years ago a good friend of mine (you know who you are) encouraged me to take part in a fun run and I haven’t looked back! I started running a few times a week and my fitness started to improve. During my lunch break at work I was running 3-4 times a week with some fabulous friends. It gave us time to get out and chat (although the chatting died down a bit into the lunchtime 5km as we all focussed on breathing and not collapsing!).
What I would say to you is… running is not hard, almost anybody can do it (bar some injury), it doesn’t require a gym membership, no fancy equipment is needed and it’s time on your own, in your own head out in the sunshine and fresh air. What more could you want?
If you think you are unfit, can’t do it, not a good runner, don’t have time – believe me, you can overcome all of those obstacles. I will say this though, don’t start running with the sole intention of losing weight, do it to get fit, healthy and enjoy yourself – any other goals you set yourself will follow. I believe in the 80/20 rule, what you look like comes from 80% what you eat and 20% exercise but exercise is essential to keep your body fit and healthy.
Here’s my quick guide on how to get you out and running:
- Start small, 1km with the goal of not stopping – build up to 5km and keep going.
- Parkrun is International, check out their website and find a Parkrun near you. Parkrun is a great opportunity to get you out and running, it’s a weekly commitment and the other runners will encourage you along the way. This is where I started. As it’s on every week and they give you your run time its great encouragement to get you out each week and improving on your pace.
- Aim to run at least 3 times a week. From personal experience I need to run 3 times a week to maintain my fitness and stamina. I definitely agree that every bit helps but to keep you going it’s a lot easier with a base fitness level.
- Sign up for a fun run, google fun runs where you live and you are bound to find lots. This gives you a goal to reach and encourages you to stick to it. This year I’ve signed up for the Mother’s Day Classic in Brisbane and am considering the Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin (just need to make sure I’ll be over the jetlag!) and the Bridge to Brisbane later in the year.
- Use an application like MapMyRun if you don’t have a running watch. This enables you to plan your route and you know how far you are running.
- Buy comfortable runners. I think any old running clothes will do but some comfortable running shoes are a good investment. Buy them when they are on special – Elverys (Dublin) and AMart Sports (Brisbane) often do multi-buy offers. As you know I buy my running clothes in Penneys/Primark and Kmart, all you are going to do is sweat in them!
- Try not to run when it’s either too hot or too cold. There’s nothing worse than being either dehydrated from the sweltering sun or getting a headache from frost bite.
- Drink plenty of water before and after your run but try not to carry water with you, it’s just not practical.
- Grab a hat and slap on some sunscreen – I don’t need to explain this any further!! This goes for wherever you live and whether or not it is sunny.
- Pop on your favourite tunes. I bought myself some running headphones as my iPhone ones kept falling out, they were a great investment. Often your music can get you through that last km or 2
And finally GO!!!