Getting into runningSave this item
The running revolution is in full swing, with more and more people taking up running for its many health benefits, but also as a social activity. Thankfully, running is a highly inclusive activity – it’s normal to see runners on the streets of all shapes and sizes, and all speeds – fast and slow! So no matter what your experience level, or whether you’re living with a disability, you’ll be able to find a running group or an approach to running that suits you. If you’re just starting out, here are some top tips to help ease you in:
Don’t try to do too much, too soon. Patience really is a virtue. A walk-jog programme is the best place to start, gradually increasing the amount of time spent jogging and gradually reducing the amount of time spent walking.
Join a local running group
Many running groups offer beginner running courses, like ‘Couch to 5k’ programmes, which slowly build up the amount of time spent running. Running groups are also a great place to meet like-minded people and they’ll give you the support and encouragement you need to keep going.
Treat your feet
Buy some good quality trainers to help look after your feet. You don’t need specialist kit but to avoid injury, it’s best to wear the correct trainers. Running shoes have evolved over the years and are specifically designed for the task, protecting your feet as they hit the ground. Go to a specialist running shop to get some advice.
Try “running tall”, keeping your head, shoulders and hips in line and running with a straight back rather than slouched over. In doing so, your head will lift and your spine will lengthen. Add to that relaxed arms and shoulders and you’re halfway there. Work on your core stability and strength. If these muscles are weak, they won’t do their job properly and you’re more likely to encounter niggling aches and pains related to your running.
Top tip: imagine holding a crisp between your thumb and forefinger while running, with your thumb uppermost, then try not to break it! This keeps your arms and shoulders relaxed. Look ahead and not at your feet. And, most important of all…keep smiling!