It feels hard to believe, but I’ve been running/jogging for over a year now, since August 2014, when I just suddenly felt like going out for a run. Before that, aside from a few charity runs and the time when my mum promised my sister and I Domino’s pizza if we both ran two miles without stopping (unfortunately, my sister wasn’t as motivated as me and the pizza never materialised), I hadn’t really done much running. (I still haven’t, really, what I do is more gentle jogging.)
But back to the point – I went for a run today, and not for the first time, I was thinking about whether I could get a blog post out of it. I reckon I can, so here you go – my top tips for newbie runners! (that can probably be adapted for other sports)
- Sort yourself out with a damn good playlist. It’s apparently been scientifically proven that running with music is effective, so why not? You can either go down the route of picking songs with a BPM to match your speed (Spotify Running does this for you, but unfortunately only with internet access), googling good running songs or simply whacking all your favourite upbeat songs into one playlist. Some of my favourites are Queen’s We Will Rock You or Fleur East’s Sax, as they both have a good running beat, or a bit of Kygo. Just make sure it’s relatively upbeat and motivational!
- Invest in the right clothing… This doesn’t have to be expensive, but running in a pair of sports leggings rather than old trackies will make you feel so much less self-conscious, trust me. Specialist running trainers are also pretty awesome – I have some Asics ones which I would never normally have, but I was had a problem with my knee and the physio said it was worth investing in a decent pair so my mum bought me some and my first thought when I tried them was that it was like running on pillows. My leggings were only about £10 though, so cheap and cheerful is fine! Most come with a zip pocket in the back which is good for your phone, so look out for that. Also, girls (sorry guys), get a sports bra. Just do it. (Subtle Nike slogan there). OH and if you’re running when it’s dark (especially winter) get a reflective jacket or something.
- …and accessories. Again, cheap and cheerful is fine, but I highly recommend you get a pair of wireless headphones, just because they make everything more hassle-free and you’re not trying to run through a bunch of wires.
- Get to know your route. This kinda comes with time, but it’s nice that I’ve been running the same one or two routes for about a year now and although I do occasionally deviate, I know my standard route well enough to just be able to completely switch off and focus on running, which is relaxing 🙂
- Use a progress-tracking app. Thought I don’t put a lot of stock by all the numbers, it’s useful to be able to see how far you’ve run and it feels awesome when you see that you ran it faster than before. I used to use the free version on Endomondo, which wasn’t bad, but now I’ve got a new phone I use the Nike+ Running app, which you can link to Spotify Premium (though for me that’s a bit glitchy so I just run the two apps separately). That’s another advantage of running the same route each time – you can track your progress more easily.
So there you go, my top five tips for newbie runners/joggers/speedwalkers. Overall, though, just remember you’re supposed it be enjoying it and appreciate the thinking time, where it’s almost physically impossible to be sucked into Facebook or Instagram or something else 🙂 And if you’re ever in need of motivation, just google ‘running quotes’!
What would your tips for runners be? Do you ever go running?