A lot of people I speak to have a bit of barrier with running. Before even trying they assume they can't do it as it's just too hard. Although of course physical fitness counts for a lot when you run, a major part of a runners performance comes down to psychology. Running in a group can help motivate and encourage. A bit of chat and company can take your mind away from those demons in your head making you doubt your ability and wondering if you can do it. Over the 10 week course I am doing with my wonderful new runners the aim is to increase time on there feet and add the miles bit by bit each week. Hopefully it will be gradual enough that they won't even notice. Here are some tips for you to consider if you are starting out running
Aim for 3
Don't train everyday. Some people get it in their mind that more is more but in most cases, whether a beginner runner or experienced, less is more. Running 3 times a week is a perfect amount to allow for progression but also allow for rest and adaptation. With a new sport, especially one with high impact like running, injury risk is high so be careful and taper your enthusiasm. As your fitness increases you can add in more days of running.
Make each step count.
We are starting out mixing up running and walking. You need to though make sure each step counts. The aim is to raise the heart for a prolonged period of time initially so when you are in the walking phase of the run make sure you are striding out and keeping that heart rate up. We still want it as a recovery but it is known as an active recovery. Over time, when fitness increases, the sessions will become more specific , for example one steady run (easy pace), one longer run and one with some speed intervals.
One huge mistake a lot of beginner runners make is running too fast. The aim is to run so you can still talk and hopefully smile. Slow your pace from the beginning as this will increases the likelihood you can run for longer without stopping. If you feel uncomfortable or you are starting to find it hard, make a conscious effort to relax your shoulders and not tense up. This can make things even harder as the bodies muscles are tensing up.
Plan your week
Hopefully you will make one run a week with your coach and running group but you will need to factor in your remaining two runs. Plan them out for the week ahead. Incorporate them with a dog walk or link up with friends with buggies so you can make an outing from it finishing with a well deserved coffee. Don't forget it is only 30 mins at the moment so don't talk yourself out of it thinking you don't have time. I even take my children running with me at weekends if my husband is away
. They are so fast and great to do speed intervals with (as children naturally run at high pace for shorter distances and stop exhausted!).
Talk to your coach.
The most important thing is ask questions. Ask your coach anything, nothing it too small or silly. They are there to support you and encourage you. If maybe the session is too hard, they can adapt it to you. You will all end up being able yo run 5km and it will be a wonderful feeling when you do !