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Is your New Year’s resolution to start running? Running for the first time can seem very daunting when you have never done it before. Here are some tips and advice that will help you get out for your first ever run.
Before starting any form of running, ensure that you are in good health and free from back and or joint pain (seek advice from a doctor or professional trainer if in doubt).
New to Running? See the Running Bug's Beginners Running section for advice on starting to run, training plans for beginners, nutrition advice and much more. Before You Start You will need good, well cushioned running shoes specifically designed for running - a specialist running shop is the best place to get kitted out with your first pair. See Which Running Shoes are Best for Me? for more advice. And, ladies, a good sports bra is essential.
As you will be raising your body temperature try to wear several thin layers, and as your temperature changes you can add or take off a layer.
Start your session with a brisk walk for at least five minutes to prepare and warm up the body, then gently stretch your legs before beginning your run. Try the Warm Up Basics to help muscles perform at their best and resist injury. Your first run may be a little stop start. Don’t worry about speed, keep it comfortable and build up slowly.
During the Run
Don’t stress it. Just by moving your body you are staying a step ahead. Remember – exercise can be fun, and you should train in a zone where you feel comfortable.
Don’t worry about speed. Try and ensure that even during the hardest part of your session you can still talk. Recite your name and address, if you are too short of breath to speak the words then you are working too hard.
After the Run
Always finish your session with a walking period of around four or five minutes to prevent blood pooling in the legs. It is very important that you stretch after your session – stretch out the calves, thighs, bottom and low back. Try these 4 Essential Stretches for Runners. This will prevent your muscles tightening and can help prevent muscle soreness.
Once that first run is under your belt you may wish to have a more structured programme, try the following: Week 1: Warm up, walk for 4 minutes, run for 2 minutes x 3 sets Week 2: Warm up, walk for 4 minutes, run for 2 minutes x 4 sets Week 3: Warm up, walk for 4 minutes, run for 3 minutes x 4 sets Week 4/5: Warm up, walk for 4 minutes, run for 4 minutes x 4 sets Week 6/7: Warm up, walk for 4 minutes, run for 5 minutes x 4 sets Week 8: Walk for four minutes, run for 6 minutes x 4 sets
As your fitness improves, you can try to gradually extend your running time and decrease your walking time. To increase the challenge, add either extra distance or extra time – never both in the same session.
Set yourself a goal – perhaps by signing up to a race, local fun runs or charity 5km runs are excellent events for beginners. Use the Events Search to find on near you. Join up with other runners, either by joining a local running club or via the forum or groups on The Running Bug.
Keep a fitness diary to record your progress. Start logging your runs on bugmiles, the extra support will push you to get your trainers on and out the door.
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