Here are my top 5 tips for anyone keen on taking up running.
I warned you to get your serious hats out.
1: Know your limits. This is perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give burgeoning runners. Just because you can run five miles the very first time you put on your trainers does not mean you should. Muscles that have lain dormant for years will not be thanking you the next day and you will have to wait four or five days before you can go out again. Take your time, ease into it. Follow the old adage of “walk before you can run”.
2: Stretch, stretch and stretch again. Not only before you go out but also when you come back. The warm down is just as important as the warm up. It sounds quite obvious but I am constantly amazed at the number of people who ignore this advice. If you are unsure about what stretches to do there is this crazy little website called YouTube…
3: Clothes make the man. When you are first staring out any old pair of trainers will do, as will your old hoodie from ten years ago. Don’t fall for all the bright coloured paraphernalia that is on offer, comfort is the key word here. However when you get to the stage of running ten miles three or four times a week you will need to invest in proper footwear. Ignore the sports shops that will sell you snake oil and go straight to a shop specifically catering to runners. I can’t stress this enough, the right pair of trainers will significantly reduce the amount of aches and sprains. They will cost you upwards of £60 but if you are serious about running it is a wise investment.
4: Feel the burn. Deep Heat is the friend to athletes everywhere. You might be able to run 20 miles every day without experiencing any discomfort but all it takes is a slight stumble or a wayward dog and BOOM you’ve pulled a muscle. So instead of taking 4 days to recover just whip out the Deep Heat and get on with it!
5: And the beat goes on. Choose the right music people!! Just because you like Pink Floyd doesn’t mean you should be listening to them when you run!! Find something that you enjoy that has a fast pace and suitable rhythm. Trust me. If you are struggling up a hill and “Eye of the Tiger” comes on, nothing is stopping you!!