Alright? A little while ago I wrote a post about what I would go back and tell myself now when I first started running. So I thought I would ask the folks at ukrunchat what advice they would give themselves now and I loved the responses, so without further ado here are some of their tips to her you if you are just starting out! Enjoy!
Just get out there and do it
A few noted that they wish they had just forced themselves out the door rather than wait as long as they did. This varied from advice of ‘putting one foot in front of the other’ to ‘tying your shoes and getting out the door’. This resonates with me as I held off running for a while before finally braving it. I tried to lose weight before I went outside to run as I was self-conscious about how I looked (Here are some things I tried before the gym and running). But yes, get your butt out there and just go!
Listen to your body
If you are struggling on the first few months of running then your body isn’t happy at the pace, slow that sucker down a little and let your lungs and legs relax and assist in powering you a little further down that road. There is no need to sprint and potentially hurt yourself at the early stages. Let your body adapt and if something feel’s wrong, listen to it and accept an extra few rest days may be required. There is no point in running yourself into an injury. I have done it and I have seen so many others do it. It helps no one.
Don’t compare yourself to others
This was one of the more repeated lines in the thread and I 100% back it. You will start running and see people going by so smoothly with a great pace and what looks like zero effort. You immediately think that you should be doing the same thing and you shouldn’t! You are building up and it is going to take a while, focus on your form and distance before anything else, the rest will come together and hey, even after a month of running, I bet there will be newbies looking at you wanting to be like you. It is never-ending. Unless you are an Olympic Gold medallist there is always someone better running out there. Why compare yourself to them? Focus on you and you will improve your time or distance way better. Get out of your head!
Save the pennies for the long haul
It was mentioned that running at the start can be a fairly cheap form of exercise and that is true (other than shoes) everything is affordable and a road or park is free to have a gallop down. But sadly the more you run, the more you want to join races or a club and the fee’s and travel starts to come into play and all of a sudden this little hobby has become a pretty expensive part of your life. So start saving early and hopefully it won’t cost you too much down the line!
You won’t run a sub 30 minute 5k overnight or be prepared for a marathon (well if you are, can you help me?!) It takes a bit of time and there will be times when you lose motivation and see no progress. This happens all the time, mix up your running pattern and you will see some changes. I mentioned this in my own advice post and it is good to see others say the same thing.
I have experienced bouts of frustration of not beating my last time from the day or so before and then beating myself up for hours after the fact and wondering what I did wrong, could I improve on something better to get what I did before? I plagued my poor brain with doubts that it would affect my next run and then all of a sudden I think I am in a rut and I wasn’t at all. Leave the previous run behind you and look forward to the next one.
Parkrun and couch to 5k
A lot of great posts mentioned to join and participate in the weekly Parkrun or join the couch to 5k programme to get them started. With parkrun you don’t need to run the entire time, just make sure you get around the route. If that means you have to walk for a little bit then so be it. I only started going to Parkruns because Victoria had wanted to go and I quite enjoyed the times I have been to them. There is a community feel to them and everyone is supporting each other. I imagine if you were there consistently you would make some great friends and that means more people to run with and I do enjoy running more with others (sometimes to me it gives me the added pressure/thoughts that I need to keep going with the others so I do not slow them down.
I don’t have too much to say about couch to 5k as I haven’t really experienced them or heard much from other people that I know about it. But it is obviously a great help to those starting out, so if you are new to running and you want to learn with others, then I would suggest joining them and you can let me know how it was!
Mix it up
Interestingly a few people mentioned that they would tell themselves to mix up their cardio routine. Be it swimming, cycling or cardio machines at the gym, or just the gym itself. Allowing your body to forget about running and strengthen from other forms of exercise can help improve your strength and endurance in the long term. I did this and I think it is a good shout for a bit of advice! Running is great, but sometimes your body needs to relax with another type of exercise. So hit the gym, swimming pool or the road on a bike and mix up that exercise, especially don’t forget about stretching and to me, yoga and bodyweight workouts. Stop your legs and hips tightening and become a yogi. Trust me it will be worth it for you!