To go from couch potato to fun-runner is no easy challenge, in fact your first 5k might seem down right daunting when you haven’t even ran 1km yet!
If you’re thinking about registering for your first run, but are worried that you might not be ready to complete it: stop worrying and start training. The first problem all runners face is motivation, if you’ve never ran before (except to catch the bus) then the prospect of doing so might seem rather momentous. Our runners, no matter how many miles they’ve covered, were all at this stage at one point in their lives – getting past it is the first real challenge.
Here are our pointers on how to get off the sofa and into your trainers:
Set Reasonable Goals
We’re all firm believers in the old adage of ‘mind over matter’ but just because you want to get jump off your sofa and straight into that 5k doesn’t mean you can. The best plan of attack is to build yourself up with reasonable goals and build up to the distance. Start with 1km walk every other day for a couple of weeks and then scale up the distance/speed as the weeks go on.
Feed Your Body
If you’ve not exercised for a long time (or never!) then you might not be aware of how exhausting it can be! Remember to plan a post-run meal so that you can properly refuel after each run. Even though you might not be covering that much distance to start with, you’ll never know, you’ll find that you’ll need more food than usual to keep you going through the day.
Don’t scrimp on equipment when you’re starting out. A good pair of running shoes with plenty of support is imperative for you to protect your knees and ankles. Running puts your joints under a much greater strain than walking, this impact can often be the cause of injuries, especially to those who are just starting out. If you know that you’re susceptible to injuries then make sure to take extra care and wear supports if you need them.
Find A Good Route
In order to get into a good routine you should find a route that you feel comfortable running repeatedly. By getting used to running the same route you can get a better grip on how your fitness is progressing and also start timing yourself. Whilst you might not be aiming to smash any world records, by tracking your improvement you’ll be able to keep yourself motivated to continue heading out for runs.
Join A Team
If you’re still finding that you’re lacking the motivation to get out running on a regular basis then you could consider joining a team or even a running club. You don’t need to be an athlete to join a running club, they’re full of people who are new to running just like you and are looking for more motivation. There are running clubs all around the UK, so don’t feel like you have to do this training alone!