10 running rules for beginners

20 April 2017 by
First published: 19 June 2016

Fancy taking up running? Don’t move a muscle until you’ve read these 10 running rules for beginners.

Whether you’ve been inspired by the marathon, or simply want to shape up while the sun is shining, there’s nothing like a run to make you feel and look good. But before you lace up and head outside, take heed from a little advice and make the most out of your training. From selecting the right gear to keeping hydrated, here are 10 quick-fire tips to ensure you fall in love with running this summer.

1.Buy a decent sports bra

You may think you can get away with wearing your usual bra or even doubling up (yes it happens) but this will not prevent the bounce and consequent stretching and damage caused to the delicate skin around your breasts as you run. To avoid sagging and help you feel comfortable, invest in a sports bra made for running such as Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra or Freya Active moulded cup bra.

2. Think footwear

When it comes to running, your footwear really can make all the difference. Choose the wrong pair of shoes and you can end up with injuries that prevent you from progressing. Of course, you can always try a few times in an old pair of shoes to see if you enjoy running but surely a new pair of running shoes is a brilliant motivation. Make sure you have a gait analysis before you buy to ensure you get as much support as possible from your new footwear, then get ready to show off your new trainers.

3. All the gear is a great idea

Sports gear has come a long way since your PE days, so don’t settle for your dad’s t-shirt and a pair of shorts borrowed from your brother. You can now find extra light, ultra-comfortable leggings, t-shirts and vests that wick the sweat away and leave you feeling dry and at ease. It may set you back a few bucks but you’ll feel and look confident in gear that makes your first steps easier.

4. Set yourself a goal

You don’t have to sign up to a marathon straight away just have a goal in mind when you start running to work towards. It could be your first 5K at your local Parkrun or to do a 10K in under an hour. Think about what you want to achieve and then this will spur you on to keep up with your training.

5. Be patient

You may not have run since those heady teenage years ,which means at first you may find it difficult to breathe. Don’t sprint off at the start, build up slowly towards your goal. Try alternating between running and walking for a minute at a time, progress to running for one and a half minutes, walking for half a minute, then try running for five minutes at a time. After time, you’ll get used to running and soon be able to do it straight for half an hour.

6. Consistency is key

The best way to get into a run routine is be realistic. How much time in a week can you spend running? You’ll progress a lot more if you dedicate say half an hour three times a week than two hours once every three weeks. Remember little and often will ensure you get used to running and the training behind it.

7. Remember to hydrate

Hydration is key especially in hot weather. If you’re out for longer than half an hour at a time and the weather is particularly hot, it is worth taking a bottle of water with you to keep you hydrated.

8. Feed your muscles

To keep your body in tip-top shape and build muscle (which helps burn off calories and boost your metabolism) have some protein such as scrambled eggs straight after your run. If you cannot stomach a meal, try a glass of milk.  Research has shown that athletes who drink milk straight after working out suffer from less muscle soreness the following day than those who drink water or sports drinks.

9. Warm up and cool down

When it comes to warming up make sure it’s dynamic. Try squats, leg swings and a gentle jog to get your body going. And ensure you cool down correctly. Relax your calves, glutes and hamstrings by holding stretches for between 10-15 seconds. You’ll then help prevent injury and also help to relax tense muscles.

10. Mix it up

Running is a brilliant form of exercise but it’s also high-impact, so you have to make sure your body is strong to help prevent injury. Add strengthening exercises into the mix. Try one-legged squats and scissors for your legs and planks, and “the superman” for your core.