I'm not claiming to be an expert at running, as I am not, but I do love it and I would love to pass on that love as it really is a brilliant activity to get into if you can. I started running just over 2 years ago and when I started I couldn't even run around the block, and I'm not kidding you. I have made myself love running, not in a bad way, but the more I did it the more I fell in love with it and the more I enjoyed it.
Since starting I have run a couple of 10k races and one half marathon, I am just about to take on my second. I have registered for the London Marathon which I will find out if I got a place in October and I have just booked to do the Barcelona half marathon next February, now that to me is love!
As I said, when I started I couldn't run to save my life and if I did pick up a bit of pace I was out of breath within minutes. But then I think it was because I didn't want to run or didn't feel like I needed to run. After two pregnancies and births I needed something to get me back into shape that was easy to do and would give me back some time. Running is perfect in my opinion as you just get on your trainers and go, whether it be for 10 minutes or an hour. There is no faffing with getting to the gym, you are just out there and done when you want.
So as you can now tell, running is a love affair for me and it has really helped me when I have needed some me time or when I have just needed to let off some steam that has been building up from two young boys driving me crazy. With this in mind, here are my top ten tips to get you out running and to make it enjoyable, as I promise, you will love it too!
1 - Run with a group or a friend. Find someone who already runs or who would like to start running to join you as this really helps with motivation. It will stop you from finding that excuse to not get out as you won't want to let them down. Also you have someone to chat to or if you don't want to chat just someone to keep you going. If you have a group in your local area go and join them as the local aspect is as good as the running.
2 - Invest in some good trainers. This was my first mistake, I just ran in whatever I had. I have one flat foot so I needed trainer that would support that, which my first ones didn't and my ankle suffered. This discouraged me from running so a good pair of trainers will make sure your run is a good and injury free one.
3 - Book a race. Be it a 5k, 10k or half marathon, get on and book a race. This will give you something to aim for an will keep you out pounding those pavements.
4 - Change up your routes. Research routes around your area and do a different one each time. Say you go out 3 times a week, find 3 routes to do so that your aren't doing the same route every time you go out. Do a bit of off roading if you fancy, but be carful, and find those beautiful spots in your town you didn't know existed.
5 - Don't push yourself. It's not all about speed and thats where I learnt the hard way. I thought I had to go out there and be fast as that would make me a better runner when in fact thats not true. As they say a 10 minute mile is as far as a 30 minute mile. Run to your speed and enjoy it, don't try and beat anyone as you will become your own runner.
6 - Listen to your body. The last thing you want to do is get into running and then get injured which then requires some time out. If you legs say not today, then rest up and try again tomorrow. Go with what your body is telling you and by doing this you will build stamina and not begin to hate it.
7 - Build yourself a play list. For those runs you do go alone have a playlist ready full of upbeat songs that will keep you going. The faster and more upbeat the song the more it will encourage you to keep running.
8 - Log your runs. Do this via an app on your phone, I found MapMyRun to be brilliant, a running watch or with something like a FitBit. This way you can keep track of your times and your distances to see your progress.
9 - Don't be too hard on yourself. Building speed and distance is going to take time so don't be too hard on yourself when you first start out if you only manage to do 1 or 2 kilometres. Take it at your own pace and your body will slowly adjust to the new exercise and muscles will start to build which will help you run that bit faster and that bit longer.
10 - Enjoy it! This has to be the main thing that has kept me going, I really do enjoy getting out there and running. Yes I have days when a run is just so hard and is a slog but I just push through and the next run is brilliant. Just keep it going!