Beginners Tips & Advice

Kit up: Investing in the correct equipment will help prevent injury and make things more comfortable. This in turn will make it easier to enjoy your running and improve.

Trainers: Go to a specialised running shop and explain you are new to running and would like a gait analysis done. You can get this done at any specialist running shop e.g. RunActive Billericay, Runnersworld Chelmsford. The salesperson will usually get you to run on a treadmill and they will analyse your running gait. You will try on a number of different pairs of shoes and they will watch you. They will recommend which ones are best based on how your feet land on the ground. Go with what feels most comfortable for you and what you can afford.

Technical Tops & bottoms: Technical running gear will help wick the sweat away from your body, keeping you cool and prevent chaffing. There are lots of different brands so see what works best for you.
Dress for the weather: If its cold wear layers that you can then remove if you warm up. If it is warm then try to keep cool by using shorts and t-shirts.

Start slow: Build running progressively into your exercise routine. Start with something like 2-3 times a week always having a recovery day the day after. You can increase this as you get fitter and stronger. When you are running it should feel comfortable, you should be able to hold a conversation. If you can’t, slow down or walk to recover. Listen to your body, if you feel tired or sore then take another days rest.

Set goals & follow a plan: Setting a goal will help you structure your training and provide extra motivation to get out the door. Following a training plan to run a 5km parkrun in 8 weeks is a great place start.
There are loads of zero to 5k plans out there, which begin with incorporating blocks of walking and running until you can run a non-stop 5k. Plans such as these make the whole training process more fun and successful.

Time yourself: You don’t need an expensive GPS strapped to your wrist to get record your runs – a simple stopwatch will do. Use it to know how long you have been running for and to monitor your improvements by timing yourself doing the same route each week.

Make it Social: Local running groups are brilliant if you want to run with other people and are a great way to make friends because everyone supports each other and has a shared interest. Each group has a different ethos and approach to running, with some training for events together and others enjoying the social aspect of running with company.

Plan routes: Choose routes that are safe, interesting, and suited to your ability level. There’s nothing worse than running too far, having to admit defeat, and walking back home.

Work your Core: Core exercises are vital for preventing injury because your torso is what keeps your limbs steady, preventing them from flailing all over the place. These only need to be very simple exercises that take minutes and can easily be done at home e.g. plank, press ups, bridge, lunge, squats

Stretching: Doing static stretches before running isn’t generally thought to be effective, and in some cases can even cause injury. Instead, before setting off spend a few minutes doing dynamic movements that replicate running such as high knees and only stretch your key muscles (including glutes, hamstrings, quads and calf’s) after running when your muscles are loose and limber. This will aid prevention of injury and improve recovery.