If you’ve decided to get your running shoes on but aren’t sure how to start running, take a look at these tips for beginner runners from double Olympian Eilish McColgan.
1. START SMALL
Everyone needs to start somewhere: put your trainers on, get outside and set realistic goals. To get started, you can walk for one minute, run for one minute and repeat this five times. Then continue to build it up by an additional minute every third day until you can run for five minutes without stopping – you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can run without stopping.
2. GET THE RIGHT RUNNING GEAR
All you need is a good pair of trainers, leggings and a thermal top and you’re good to go! Buying new training gear will give you a confidence boost and can be that added push to keep you motivated – it’s always great to look and feel your best while running! With dark mornings and evenings, some reflective clothing to keep you visible is a great way to stay safe.
3. MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS IN RUNNING
Keeping a training diary allows you to see the improvements you’re making. An easy way to keep track is to log your training through Polar Flow, which will enable you to record your training and track your progress as a runner.
Plus, keeping track of your training and progress will keep you motivated to continue pursuing your goals. In Polar Flow, you can retrace your run to see where your heart rate was at its highest and see how well you’ve slept.
Having such a comprehensive overview of your training and recovery is essential when you want to see results and monitor whether you’re making progress or not.
4. DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Hydration is key. Keep those muscles loose by staying hydrated.
5. FIND A RUNNING BUDDY
When the cold winter months take over, the best way to stay motivated is to find a running buddy! If you’re apprehensive about starting a running program or are worried about being committed, find one or two close friends to join you.
Knowing that you’re meeting someone else for a run will keep you motivated, and it will be exciting to share your running journey with someone else.
6. SIGN UP FOR A RACE
There is nothing quite like having a date set in the diary to keep you driving towards your goal. It could be your first ever ParkRun, 10K, or even a half marathon if you’re feeling adventurous. It will undoubtedly keep you committed to the program you set for yourself.
7. BUY A GPS RUNNING WATCH
It’s always nice to know exactly how far you ran and how fast you were going, but even more helpful is to monitor progress and recovery. A running watch provides you detailed feedback for every kilometer you run, and seeing these figures improve is incredibly motivating.
8. ADD A LITTLE CROSS-TRAINING
Add in some basic core stability and mix some cross-training into your workout routine by taking a spin class, going swimming, or to a boot camp class. These will all benefit your running and reduce the chance of running injury.
9. BE PATIENT
Being patient is vital – success doesn’t happen overnight. This is one of the key tips for beginner runners.
It’s easy to get frustrated in the early stages of a running program but remember to enjoy it. With every step, you’re discovering new limits and becoming stronger each time you lace up your trainers and head out the door.
10. ASK FOR ADVICE
The best way to keep motivated in a new running program is to decide on your goals and find the right advice to help you achieve them. It could be from family or friends or your local running club. It may even be a good idea to get some online advice from a running coach.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.