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10 running tips for beginners

28th July 2016

It’s tougher to start a good habit than a bad one, that’s for sure. Becoming a runner can be difficult at first, but turning it from a chore to part of your day to day life could well be one of the most positive things you ever do.

But where to start? How do you go from couch potato to 10k supremo? Check out just ten of the simple tricks you can implement to make the first couple of weeks that little bit easier.

1. Make sure you buy the right shoes
Kicking off a run in a pair of old Converse or a £5 pair of unbranded trainers from a supermarket are likely to put yourself in undue pain or even do yourself an injury, which are both some of the most common reasons people quit their routine inside the first couple of weeks. Shelling out on some comfortable runners can make all the difference.

2. Eat well
Whether your motivation for embarking on a routine is for weight loss or not, eating well is vital. Let’s face it, no one runs at their best on a burrito.

3. Run distances, not times
For the first few weeks of runs, there is absolutely no need to break the clock. Pick out a landmark in the distance or dial in a target on the running machine and stick to it, and feel free to leave the stopwatch at home.

4. Motivate yourself
Why are you wanting to become a runner? Do you want to lose weight, are you training for a marathon? Whatever your goal, leave cues around the house in order to keep yourself on the straight and narrow.

5. Set yourself a routine..
One of the main reasons why new runners quite within the first couple of weeks is because they have left their routine down to chance. Don’t. Set yourself a realistic, timetabled schedule to run at least four times a week and stick to it.

6. ..And include rest days
Desperately flying through 10k every day is unrealistic and may lead to injury. Rest days should be very much part of your routine, and above all else are good for morale!

7. Don’t be embarrassed to give yourself a break
Don’t feel like a failure if you feel the need to slow it down and walk a few metres. You’re far better off going at it with intensity after a few minutes walk than trudging along at 3mph.

8. Be the early bird
Studies show that training in the morning is more sustainable and is far more likely to become habit than those who train after their work day. It also has fat burning benefits, getting your metabolism moving much earlier than it usually would.

9. Stick on some tunes
The nagging voice in your head telling you to quit will from time to time get particularly loud, so it’s important to drown it out with a carefully selected soundtrack. Upbeat music keeps your running rhythm constant and keeps you motivated.

10. Chart your progress
Whether you smashed your personal best or cracked a new long distance on the treadmill, make sure you chart your progress loud and clear. Your successes, and indeed your losses, will motivate you to improve and will show you the fruits of your labours.