How to get into running
Taking up running can seem daunting, especially if you've avoided it since your school days. But whether you want to lose weight, improve your fitness levels or tone up; running is a fun, cheap and easy way to help you achieve these goals.
All new runners experience a few motivational blips along the way; so here are some tips to combat these and stick with it.
After you've completed a few runs in your old trainers, you'll quickly realise why experienced runners invest in good running shoes. If you want to remain injury free, getting the right shoes is vital. Take a look at our Running Kit Buying Guide to work out your gait cycle and which type of shoes you need. Bear in mind that men and women run differently, so it may sound obvious but do choose shoes designed for your gender.
As much as you can, you'll need to avoid any distractions and discomfort while you run. Opt for lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics with seams designed to minimise any chafing. Go for something like this T-shirt from Ronhill, which is fluorescent to increase your visibility, and comfortable running tights.
Invest in gadgets
Gadgets designed for runners can help you to set targets, encourage regular running and make it more fun.
Fitting running into your life can be challenging - but if you create a manageable, realistic training schedule, you're more likely to stick to it. Some sports watches like the Suunto M5 Heart Rate Monitor will help you out with this. The M5 plans a workout schedule and lets you know when it's a running day. Depending on your progress, or if you miss a session, your schedule will automatically adapt, so you'll always stay on track.
Set yourself a challenge
Setting yourself a realistic challenge to work towards is a real incentive and you'll find that you're more focused.
For example, you could set yourself a certain distance or time. Use the Nike+ SportWatch GPS to track your running routes and record your distances and times. You can then upload the information to your computer to create a digital running diary, allowing you to keep an eye on your progress.
Change your scenery
Get off the treadmill and away from the hard pavements, and head out into the countryside. You'll find that your run will fly by if you actually enjoy your scenery. Get yourself a good pair of running shoes with additional grip, designed specifically for trail running , and possibly a map if you don't know the area well.
Once you're equipped with a full running kit and you're over the initial motivational hurdles, the sense of satisfaction when you achieve your goals may just help you to catch the running bug for life!