When a friend first suggested I started running when I was looking for a new exercise to try out, I thought he was mad.
‘How can that be enjoyable?’, I thought. I wasn’t the most unfit person (although I certainly wasn’t fit either), but I was bored of what I was doing at the time and wanted to try something new. So I gave running a shot – and you know what? I actually enjoyed it! And you can too.
Here are some tips on how you can get started...
Before you get started, have a gait test to make sure you're wearing the right kind of trainers, and a good sports bra – both of which should offer comfort and support. I also wouldn’t dream of going out without music now, it really is a welcome distraction from what I’m doing as I hate being too aware I’m doing exercise, which is why I hate the gym. A pedometer will be motivating too. I have an app on my phone which tells me how far I’ve run and how many calories I’ve burned. It really pushes me to beat my own personal bests. And don’t forget the water to keep you hydrated.
Slowly does it
I bought a recommended book, Running Made Easy by Susie Whalley and Lisa Jackson. With their voices in my mind, I started running around the block near my house - just in case I ran too far and couldn't get back again - for one minute and then walking three minutes for a total of 16 minutes. I’ll admit that even this 60 second running burst filled me with dread. But each time, it gets a little easier. And even now, I feel amazing about having completed a run – no matter how far I’ve gone.
I ran three times a week, and each week I’d gradually increase the running time and decrease the walking time.
Where and when to run
Most of the time I head towards the local park; I find a green view so much more relaxing than rows and rows of houses. But your chosen location completely depends on where you live. Mix it up a bit and see which routes suit you best. Avoid hilly areas, at least to begin with, as it’ll be noticeably harder to catch your breathe in your walking time before having to start running again.
I like to run first thing in the morning before getting ready for work. Others say I’m crazy but it works for me. Whether you go in the morning, in the evening or in your lunch break, running should fit into your lifestyle easily. If it’s a hassle, it'll be too easy to give up.
Good luck – you’re on the road (pavement?) to success!
Image via caochopp's Flickr