AKA my tips for anyone just starting out!
Getting the right shoes is so important
This is #1 on the list for a reason. I highly recommend going to your local running shop where they can give you advice and gait analysis when buying your first pair. the are Brooks GTS 20 (see my review here) and are a support shoe, which I wouldn’t have known was best for me unless I’d had gait analysis done.
You can get last seasons shoes often at a cheaper price, too 🙂
And the same goes for a bra
It’s important to also pick the right bra (if required of course) – and the right size. It can make running much more comfortable.
Taking it slowly is fine
When you first start running, a program like C25K can be a fabulous way to get started. Don’t worry about your pace, how fast your friends run or if you walk – the main thing is to enjoy it! Comparison can be the thief of joy. I still walk when I feel like it!
Running outside is different
If you start off on a tradmill, perhaps at the gym (which is what I did) running outdoors can be a bit of a shock. Uneven ground, elevation change… and I personally find it harder. Saying that though, it has massive upsides like the views and mud and hills. Not everyone thinks they are upsides, but I do! And running in the summer and winter is different again – see my tips for running in the cold and dark here, too!
Runners are nice
I wasn’t sure what I’d find in the running community – but I have made so many friends. I wasn’t sure if people might think I was ridiculous? They might laugh at me? Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority of runners are friendly folk, and the people I have met have been nothing but supportive and encouraging. I even found people who were willing to come to races with me in horrible weather and not think twice about it! This is a great picture of me and one of my friends I made through parkrun:
I have friends I made through my running club, Instagram, parkrun and people I met at races, too! I never would have thought that when I first started out.
Rest is important
Rest is so important. It helps you get stronger – the times I have been injured are quite closely correlated to increasing my training too quickly. Don’t try to do too much too soon and end up in a heap. And don’t worry if other people seem to be doing more – everyone is different and has different goals – focus on YOU.
There’s so many ways to keep motivated
Keeping it going can be tough after the initial excitement of trying something new – this is where friends, running clubs, races, virtual races can all help…. there are so many ways to keep yourself motivated when starting out. I did virtual monthly totals to keep me getting out the door (plus you got a medal, too, which was nice) before I was brave enough to enter my first race… and it snowballed from there. You’ll find online communities on social media that can help with questions and provide some motivation, too.
What do you wish you’d known when you first started running? Let me know in the comments!