My 5 top tips for newbie runners
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
My relationship with fitness has certainly evolved over the years, I barely exercised at school and only really found my groove with it all properly when I was working in London and invested in a Personal Trainer. Fitness then became a huge part of my life and inspired me to switch up my routines. I soon fell in love with group fitness and thought one day that I’d love to hold classes & be an instructor!
Since plucking up enough courage to complete my Personal Training qualification & landing a role as a Coach at F45 I’m passionate as ever to explore different ways of training both one on one with people & in group style settings. You’ll usually find me sweating buckets in high intensity classes, boxing if I’m feeling extra spicy or smashing out a few F45 classes myself during the week. My partner Tom is a bit of a runner though, so I often try to go running with him. You’d have thought that after teaching classes and opting for the high intensity ones myself, running would be a breeze. At the end of the day, HIIT is cardio and running is cardio – how hard could it be?
WELL – actually pretty bloody HARD!
No matter how often I try, running has always been a test for me. Just as much mentally as it is physically. I’m certainly not convinced at this stage, that there is something ‘meditative’ about running. Having said that, I’m intrigued by it all & if that meditative feeling does exist for runners - I want to find it too! I recently took part in a group race – I was nervous but also excited. I certainly questioned by own ability but training with friends leading up to the event helped a lot. I’ve got to admit, the run was tough but went a lot better than I expected. The first 5km was definitely the hardest, but after that my body eased into the rhythm and found it’s own groove. The energy from the other runners helped along with knowing friends were supporting on the sideline. I was super proud to complete the race and the feeling of completing another one doesn’t seem to far out of reach..
If like me you usually struggle or are not even sure how to start, here are some top tips to ensure you set yourself up for success;
1. Set up a BANGING playlist Allow the music to feed your soul! Create a playlist ahead of time & get organised with your favourite tunes – find out what works for you. I know some people like to get pumped up & others perhaps even prefer a playlist. Whatever you choose, it should motivate the shit out of you or entertain you allowing you to zone out.
My absolute fave is the Run N Bass 170 – 175BPM – it works for me every time. 2. Set yourself small, realistic + achievable goals I think particularly when you are starting out, aim for an amount of time as opposed to a distance. Something like ‘I want to run nonstop for 20 minutes’ is a lot more achievable than setting yourself up to run for 3kms which could be an unbearable experience! Start by running slower than you usually would and find a pace that works for you. You can always pick up the pace! Set these short-term goals and assess them week by week – you won’t perfect these in 2 days & remember that is OK! 3. Be mindful of your breath The best advice I can give is to try inhaling for 4 strides and exhaling for 4 strides – repeat this 5 times and you should have got yourself into a good rhythm. I always find if I don’t breathe properly, I get stitches straight away! Remember to give your breath purpose and stay focused on this.
4. Run with your gang Who say’s running can’t be a social event? Well maybe not right now but when we can, try running while catching up with some mates. Not only will it hold you accountable but it’s also sometimes way more fun. I found it was easy to take my mind off the physical challenge of running and if you run with the right group of friends it can be quite entertaining! 5. Reward your god damn self! Try and make sure running doesn’t feel like a punishment! Motivate yourself to try and reach an end destination & it may even be your favourite café or local spot down by the beach. Running to brunch is a great way to motivate yourself because at least you can treat yourself with something tasty afterwards. If you can always opt to run outside as opposed to at the gym I personally think this is much easier to distract yourself and keep you going! The more you run the easier it gets – so remember go easy on yourself and just keep on running! Use apps to help track your progress. What fun tips and tricks have worked for you?