Five Tips for New Runners

After the intro to my last post you might start to think that I spend a bit too much time on Twitter. I probably do, but I prefer to think of it as engaging in an inspiring community of like minded people...

Anyway, last week I re-tweeted a link to Jen's wonderful blog, and more specifically a post where she talked about supporting a friend around her first half marathon. It prompted this exchange between Jen and my Mum, which just about embodied what I love about the running community.

I know I have received a shed load of love from the running community over the last few years. Encouragement, support, advice and enthusiasm have been given freely with no agenda - it is something pretty special. As I've become 'a runner' I find myself welling up with excitement whenever anyone even suggests they might want to give running a go. And why not, running is sodding brilliant! 

Now, I can't accost all of you at parties and shower you with runner love, programme recommendations and advice about bras, but I can share some of my top tips for newbie runners - 

have a plan

When I was at university I thought I might try to run. I decided that I would just go out an run around the block. It was miserable. I felt like a failure because it was so hard and it put me off running for years. The difference this time around what that I used an interval programme. I loved how achievable everything felt, and before I knew it I could run for 30 minutes straight!

Check out the NHS Couch to 5k programme.

speed isn't everything

One thing that often comes up when I talk to new runners is that they worry about not being fast enough. Don't worry about it! Speed isn't important, getting out there and doing your best is what matters! Focus on having fun and getting fit, and the speed will follow.

boobs matter

When you run your boobs move ALOT. They swing in a figure of eight, and unless properly restrained you can do yourself irreparable damage. Plus bouncy boobies are pretty uncomfortable when you run.

This shouldn't stop you running, but it should encourage you to invest in a decent sports bra that keeps everything in check. I love the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra, yep they are pricey but in my book they are more than worth it. If it helps, when I started out my bra was a major motivator to get out and run - I wanted to get my money's worth!

run buddies are awesome

Whether you join a running group (check out Lazy Girl Running) or connect with other runners over social media, don't be afraid to get involved in the community! I found the support and encouragement of other runners, some I've never met, invaluable - there is nothing like being reassured that the struggles are normal and you can overcome them. Plus it's a great way to make new friends!

have a goal

When I decided to take up running the first thing I did was enter a race. Then I told everyone I knew what I was doing. I am clearly someone who responds well to public accountability because repetitional risk was a real motivation for me! The other benefit of a goal is it gives you something tangible to work towards - you aren't just running for the sake of it, you are running for a reason. It's a motivational tactic I still use today.

If you are thinking about running, what worries you? If you do run, what's your top tip for a newbie?