A beginners guide to running
RUNNERS NEED18 Oct 2021
It’s easier that you think you hit the ground running. Don’t know where to start? The perfect place is here.
Raring to run, but not sure how to start putting one foot in front of the other? We asked the experts at Runners Need to offer advice for whatever stage you’re at in your journey toward achieving your fitness goals.
Plus, Priority members can get an exclusive £25 off new season running shoes, and a free waterbottle with your purchase here.
THE BENEFITS OF RUNNING
Mental Health - When you run your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals interact with receptors in your brain reducing your perception of pain as well as giving you that euphoric feeling known as a “runner’s high”. It also leaves you with a much more positive outlook, naturally reducing your stress, and boosting your self-esteem giving you total peace of mind.
Weight Loss - If losing weight is your goal, then running is one of the best ways to achieve it. Not only will you burn calories as you run but you’ll give your metabolism a boost too.
Physical Health - Regular running helps lower your blood pressure and your cholesterol, strengthens and builds bones, as well as improving your cardiovascular system and immune system. It also increases your energy levels and reduces fatigue, leaving you feeling healthy and strong.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
Quality, well-fitting running shoes are the most important item of kit you’ll need, whatever your ability or distance. But good, technical running clothing and accessories can also make the difference between a good run and a great one.
Trainers: Pop into Runners Need to get free gait analysis as part of the comprehensive trainer fitting service. Plus, get £25 off new season running shoes and a free water bottle, exclusive to Priority members here.
Bra: Whatever your size and shape, a good-fitting sports bra is just as important as what's on your feet to keep you running and working out in comfort and without injury.
Clothing: The fundamentals to picking the perfect gear can be summarised into sweat-wicking, quick-drying and breathable gear to keep you cool and running comfortably. Top tip, steer clear of cotton, which traps heat and soaks up sweat, keeping the moisture against your skin.
Couth to 5k - So, you're all kitted out ready to go but how long do you run for? Or how fast do you go? Using a couch-to-5k training programme or app is a great way to start working running into your busy schedule while giving you all the help and support you need.
The Warm-Up - Try dynamic stretches like squats or lunges to increase blood flow to the active muscles. There are stretches that involve swings, kicks, and rolls which mimic your natural motion, increasing blood flow to the active joints and muscles, warming them up.
Running Technique - Don’t worry about your technique when starting out. Just start by running in whatever way feels natural to you. Just try to make sure you maintain a good posture to allow you to breathe easily:
- Keep your back straight and relaxed
- Keep your shoulders down
- Keep your head up
AFTER YOUR RUN
The Cooldown - Sore legs in the hours and days after a run are completely normal but this will subside relatively quickly. Incorporating a stretching cool-down routine after a run is the best way to reduce stiffness and help prevent injury.
Refuelling and Hydration - After a run, you should aim to re-hydrate within the first 10-15 minutes. Even if you don’t feel particularly hot and sweaty you still need to replace lost fluids. You’ll also want to aim for a small snack with a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrate to protein.