As we enter the second national lockdown of the year, more people than ever are putting on their running trainers and taking to the streets for their share of endorphins while keeping active. That unbeatable feeling of getting out in the fresh air for a run, while pushing your body to achieve new goals, is catching; and we can see why. So with all of the new runners starting their journey, we wanted to write a blog post to say welcome to the community, and here are some tips to get you started.
Lacing up your trainers for the first time can be a daunting experience. So, whether you’re transitioning from the gym or this is the very start of your fitness journey there are a few things to think about. Firstly, easing yourself into running is crucial. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of new goals and over-do it early on. Doing too much too soon can lead to injury, as well as causing you to ‘burn out’, which is discouraging for any new runner. So, take your time to enjoy the experience that running has to offer and build on your ability gradually.
Many people find the best way to do this is by alternating between walking and running during their session. Each week you can increase the running interval and decrease the time spent walking, until eventually you don’t feel the need to walk at all. Others find that it’s best to focus on a time spent running, rather than distance. For example, you might set a goal of running for 20 minutes 3 times a week. Doing this encourages you to run at a pace and distance you are comfortable with.
Often, it’s easy to feel motivated and inspired at the start of a new goal: we start new diets on Mondays, or begin new years’ resolutions on January 1st, and things go smoothly at first. Unfortunately, that initial enthusiasm often fades and we start to lose focus. One way of maintaining the motivation to run is by setting achievable short and long-term goals, these might be to run your first mile or your first marathon, everyone will be different. Ticking off these goals will not only keep you motivated, but they’re also a great way of showing your progression.
Running isn’t always about the time or distance, often running acts as an ‘escape’ from the stresses of every day life; now more than ever. With this in mind, keeping running fun and interesting is another way to stay on track. You can do this by playing around with your routes and terrains, exploring local landscapes that you may never have ventured to otherwise.
Entering a race, even if it’s virtual, is another great way to stay on track with your goals. It gives you something to drive for and holds you accountable. Runderwear are partnering with Bournemouth Athletics Club to offer a virtual version of the Bournemouth 10 mile race, that was sadly cancelled at the start of November. You can enter here if you’d like something to work towards during this lockdown. The race takes place virtually on Sunday 29th November.
A great alternative to entering a race is also pledging to run a certain distance to raise money for a charity of your choice. Charities are one of many industries to have severely suffered as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, so to support a fantastic cause will likely be motivation enough to push on through those training miles. That's exactly what some of the team here at Runderwear HQ did when we started our running journey, it felt fantastic to complete the run because not only had we reached a personal goal but we'd also raised money for a great cause!
And don’t forget, as you start reaching those goals and hitting those milestones – reward yourself! During a time of so much uncertainty it’s great to celebrate the small wins, whether that’s running an extra kilometre or your first month of consistent running. Rewards can act as that extra motivation to push on to the next goal, so treat yourself to some new running kit or get that takeaway on the weekend; whatever works for you.
While running is often seen as a solo sport, there is a fantastic community online who are a great support network to one another. We recommend reaching out to like-minded people and following their journey, to help inspire and drive your own. A great place to start is by following @teamrunderwear on Instagram and joining the Runderwear Club on Strava, you’ll be able to connect with a lovely group of runners who encourage and engage with one another regularly.