Run like the wind!
1. Get together with friends – Motivating yourself can be difficult when starting off a new training regime, so grab a pal and go running together. Not only is it more fun, a lot safer and a good chance to catch up with a friend, but you’ll also be regulating each other’s pace and breathing by chatting away as you run!
2. Get a decent pair of running shoes – The shoes should fit snugly but not too tight. Wearing the shoes you have been training with on race day is recommended to avoid blisters. Trees for Cities runners also find that sports socks are infinitely better than normal socks and will protect from blisters. Never go running in plimsolls, you might as well be barefoot.
3. Ladies – Get a good sports bra! A good bra is as essential as a good pair of running shoes. Whether you’re an A or an FF cup you need to keep your boobs supported!
4. Consistency – Plan a training schedule you can stick to. If you’re rubbish at early mornings go running at lunchtime or in the evening, but make sure you commit to going out.
5. Warm up before your run – Prepare your body with a 10-minute warm-up. You’ll increase elasticity of your muscles, body temperature and oxygen levels, leading to better mental focus for the run ahead. Warming down will also help to restore your muscles to their resting length, avoiding aches the day after!
6. Drink more water – We should all drink about eight glasses of water a day. The body loses more water when exercising, and running is a high intensity exercise so remember to increase your water intake. Keep a bottle with you while training and take sips regularly. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
7. Set yourself fitness targets – no matter how small. You’ll have something to work towards and be proud of achieving. Check out the training schedule, start slowly and build up to sustained running. This will improve both your stamina and strength. Keeping a log of your goals and achievements as the weeks pass will make you realise just how far you have come since you started.
8. Don’t push yourself too hard – This can lead to injuries and disappointments. It is a slow gradual, process and if it hurts, stop.
9. Listen to your body – Don’t ignore any signs that your body may not be entirely happy with your training regime. If something hurts then it can’t be good. Running with an injury is a sure-fire way of making that injury worse, so don’t take any risks – get it checked out.
10. Eat well – The right nutrition will make you healthier. Get your five (or more) portions of fruit and vegetables a day and don’t forget the carbs (potatoes, rice and pasta) – these will provide essential energy for any race and for re-fuelling afterwards.
11. Enjoy yourself! – Running is a great way to keep fit, but don’t forget the fun. If you’re not enjoying it you may be pushing yourself too hard. Keep motivated by keeping your achievements in mind.
12. Get the right kit – Invest in some proper fitness clothing that is lightweight and won’t absorb moisture.
13. Run outside – Run around your local park if you can. It will get you used to running in the open, get you some fresh air, let you get to know your local area AND you’ll burn more calories than in the gym! Running off road will also work a whole different set of muscles, building up your strength and stamina.
14. Get active! – Try to fit other healthy activities in to your daily life. Jump off the bus or tube a few stops earlier and walk the rest of your journey, go swimming with the kids, get planting in a garden or go and burn some calories by dancing the night away! All activity is good for you and will increase your fitness and energy levels.
15. Join your local running club – Running with others motivates you, gives you tips and you’ll make new friends too!
16. Positive visualisation! – If you see yourself succeeding, you will! Imagine yourself running smoothly and stylishly across that finish line!
Benefits of running
Read these benefits and you’ll soon be running for the trees!
- Destroy calories – a half-hour run can burn 300 calories (depending on the runner’s physique). This is especially good news if your New Year’s resolution to ‘get fit’ is just a distant memory…
- Running three times a week could result in a weight loss of 2lbs a month.
- Exercise is well known to improve your sex life as it boosts your mood, your confidence and your stamina! Schwing!
- Running promotes a longer, healthier life just through being active regularly.
- You’ll notice a feeling of euphoria after your run, often described as ‘runner’s high’.
- In the same vein, running is a fantastic cure for bad moods, stress and (light) hangovers.
- Running is free! No pricey joining or subscription fees and anyone can do it anywhere.
- It gets you out and about in your local area (a jog allows a bit of sneaky people watching and checking out the fit guys and gals in the park!)
- Ladies, exercise helps to regulate hormones and can reduce period pain, always a good thing.
- There’s a social aspect to running – join a running club or do a charity run and you’ll meet new people and make new friends who share your interests.
- Running with a buddy allows you to get to know your running partner and adds a healthy dose of competition to your training regime!
- Running transcends just exercise it can be a tool for doing good, as with the Tree-Athlon, as non-runners are always very impressed by any kind of lengthy run and willing to sponsor those taking part!