When I first started running, I wish I had known…
- It’s worth investing time in a good warm up and warm down – Couch to 5K does not literally mean you get off your couch and start running! Never underestimate the power of a good warm up and warm down. Good dynamic stretching and warm up give your muscles, bones, and joints a chance to loosen. It gradually and gently brings your heart rate and makes it easier to get into the rhythm you want to sustain.
- Progress slowly – Most new runners want to get out there and start seeing results. Be enthusiastic but don’t be overambitious and inpatient. Start with a pace that is comfortable for YOU. Embrace the run-walk method by mixing intervals of running with brisk walking.
- Rest days are not lost days – not every day is a running day. Mix up your running with strength training or other another activity (SJ has a plethora of other programmes). Running is great for cardio, but it won’t strengthen and stretch all your muscles.
- My running shoes are my tyres – The beauty of running is in its simplicity. All you really need is a good pair of shoes. These are effectively your tyres and will be the only significant financial outlay so it is worth investing time (and money) in a good pair.
- Variety is key – try and mix up your routes, find a running partner (we hope to start some form of group running soon), set yourself a mini challenge, listen to a podcast. Very few of us can do the same thing over and over again when it comes to running and do it very well.
Remember everyone is a runner. Someone early on said to me “You’re not a real runner, look at your pace”. But I am yet to find a fake runner!