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  • Ollie McCarthy

Beginner Runner Files- getting started

If you are delving into the running world for the first time then it can be a scary place with lots of buzzwords (gait, intervals, ultramarathons, PBs) flying around. Realistically though, you only need a few things to get started both in terms of equipment and knowledge.

Prerequisites to running

Walking- the saying goes “don’t run before you can walk” and that is quite simply, great advice. The allure of running will often be strong (if you have decided you want to run) but first you must be able to walk. 20 minutes constant walking at a brisk pace will be the target you need to hit before we start working towards the running.

Old injuries- many people stop running or exercise in general because of an injury. If you have any old, nagging injuries make sure you get them checked out before you start running. The last thing you want is to get derailed just as soon as you have started.

Strong and flexy- when you start running two of the most important parts of your training will be strength and mobility. Mobility will get keep you moving pre/post run and prevent you hurting yourself out on the roads. Strength will make sure your body is strong enough to endure the 2x bodyweight going through your legs with every step you take.

Kit check

Shoes- while there is a huge amount of noise around what shoes you should wear, I would suggest you start simple and add as you go. A running style shoe will support your feet as you run but ultimately comfort will be your go to. Are you comfortable using the shoe for 20+minutes? Do you have any discomfort after your run?

Clothes- while there will be an element of personal preference general sports kit will suffice to begin. Shorts and tights are a good shout for your lower limbs. Sports underwear will be key to prevent “runners chafe.” Upper body wise- anything that you are comfortable in and that doesn’t rub/ cause irritation when you sweat.

Run tracker- not necessary but people love data. Don’t go dropping £150+ on a fancy new watch straight away. Use an app on your phone to begin (strava, nike run club etc.)

The actual run

Breathing - Running gets really hard when you are breathing in and out through your mouth as you put yourself in a high stress state. Ideally try and breath through your in and out through your nose, even if you have to slow your pace. Nasal breathing will keep you calm, pace better and will generally mean you enjoy the run experience overall. It is pretty tough though so middle ground would be in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Working for time- when you start the idea of pace shouldn’t even be on your radar. Simply get used to working for a set amount of time ( this can be walking and/or running.) 20 minutes is a good start and add a few minutes on every other week.

Let me know if those hints and tips help :)

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