When I launched the blog , I asked what topics you’d like me to cover. Your answers ranged from cross-country running, weight loss after the pregnancy and buying the best kit on the cheap – but the most popular request from readers was to share tips on how to get started to run.
Here, then, are the things that I wish I had known before I got started. First question might be, why you should run.
Hear me out.
• It’s great for your cardiovascular health.
• And it can even be meditative and funny.
• You don’t need to pay membership or class fees.
• You can literally just run out of your front door, keep going, and……… that’s a workout.
• If you start slowly with confidence in your ability to kick ass, you might just really like it.
In case you have zero idea of where to start, just keep reading
1. Have realistic expectations.
Yes, you will have flashbacks to high school track meets, which always put butterflies in my stomach. The first run will hurt and you will think about quitting. Just stay. Start with 30 seconds run and 7 minutes walk. Take it easy. After a few weeks it’ll be easier to breathe and move and you won’t feel as sore and you’ll feel like a damn champion!
2. Find your right pair of sneaker.
The right pair of shoes means everything. There are not so many shops in Czech Republic were you can analyze your gait and find out which sneakers will work best for the way your foot lands, but at least you can try few new collections. You can try big stores, like Adidas, sport shops in Palladium and Intersport. Now, when you know your size, go online and search the last year collections.
3. And then go online.
4. Use applications for help.
My top apps for runners you can find HERE.
All those applications will track your progress and have you feeling like a badass by helping you consistently hit your (very manageable) goals.
5. There is no shame in walking.
Some people run; some people walk. Others do a little of both. Even the fastest runners pulled over to the sidewalk to take walking breaks along the way, and I am one of them! I love to run but I also love to walk. Combination of a fast pace and steep hills (and maybe the lack of training) made it necessary for me. Once I have my heart rate down, I can start jogging again. Believe me, no one cares whether you walk or run. And NO, YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE YOU ARE ILL OR OLD.
6. Buy special underwear and socks.
The problem about cotton is that it really soaks up and hangs on to moisture, which means that if your sneakers get wet for any reason — sweat, a puddle, the rain — your feet will stay damp for your whole run. In the summer they’ll be hot and wet and in the cooler months your feet will be cold and wet. Plus, cotton means more friction, which means blisters. Socks made from a synthetic material will wick moisture away from your feet and control temperature well, which means a much less swampy run.
Some socks are knitted in complementary shapes to fit specifically the left or right foot, and if you lay them out flat, you will observe a difference between them. They allow more space for the big toe and taper down to the pinky toe. Asics sell them for sure.
And yes, one thing you must have for sure – special dry fit underwear. Get a few pairs of quick-dry undies and you’ll be cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
7. Don’t forget about your snack before and after.
We have discussed it already HERE .
Eating the right mix of carbs, protein, and fat can be amazing fuel before you run and an incredible recovery aid once you finish.
8. Enjoy the moment.
The quickest way to make running terrible is to try to go all out all the time. It’ll make you tired and out of breath and probably feel totally defeated…
Try to relax and listen pounding of sneakers on the pavement around you. When you look around, you see people who are all there for one common goal – to run. Listen to some rockin’ songs on your iPod (without which I might have lost motivation when it got really tough). And when you see the finish line approaching, no matter how tired you feel, somehow just dig down deep and give it everything you’ve got left.
9. Have Your Mantra.
Yes, it really helps. Love those mantras for every mile.
10. Do a little bit of strength training.
You don’t need to start with heavy weights. Just spending 10 to 15 minutes doing workouts in your living room a few times per week will strengthen your core and lower body, which will make running easier and minimize risk of injury.
11. Listen to your body.
Sorry to sound like a hippy, but do listen and learn the difference between an ache – perhaps just muscles getting used to all this new work they are doing – and a pain. But don’t despair if you get the latter: check your shoes are right (see above) and that you haven’t upped your distance too drastically – increase by increments. For aches, my top tip is Tiger Balm. IJust don’t rub your eyes before washing your hands.
12. Just for extra motivation try good radio station and sunset application.
By all means listen to music to get motivated. Sometimes audible or great podcast application will help. And I would also recommend Magic Hour application. Yes, its is the time of day around sunrise and sunset when the light is great for photography and cinematography. But it also will tell you when to be ready for extra beautiful run and, tbh, the best Instagrams:)