New Year … New Me! Right? Running for ABSOLUTE Beginners

So, it’s that time of year again. The start of a new year. Post-mince pies and parties, we decide we must tone up in preparation for the warmer months ahead. But how do we start? How do I transform from couch potato to fit French fry?

I’ve NEVER been a runner (I was one of the slowest at primary and secondary school.) I had only ever run 3km races when I was younger. At 20, I could run up to twenty minutes on the treadmill, but felt I wasn’t making any progress. In fact, running remained PAINFUL.

Yet, with the help of a trusty mobile app (One You Couch to 5K by Public Health England) I was able to build up this duration. A tiny personal trainer in my headphones guided me and set time goals.  I can now run a whole 5km (WITHOUT WALKING) and have joined in with Park Run.

Here are a few tips I have found useful when running:

  1. Don’t think about running!
    Listen to a podcast or audiobook on your run. This is a great way of slaying your reading list, keeping your brain active and your body. This also will keep your mind off of THE BURN. (It’s a good burn. Trust me.)
  2. When it’s cold, wear a little hat.
    Make sure it covers your ears as it gets particularly chilly with cold wind rushing past your face. There is nothing worse than frozen ears.
  3. Company is always good.
    See if you can find a running buddy! You should run at a pace that you can hold conversation… it can be social.
  4. Change up your route.
    It can get boring running around the same places. Try and plan out some new running destinations.
  5. Leave the water bottle behind.
    When running outside, I find a water bottle a hassle. It’s important to keep hydrated, but drinking too much water before and during a run can just lead to stitches. Definitely drink lots of H20 after you warm down though!

Every Saturday morning at 9am, next to campus, Park Run takes place. It’s well worth checking out. It’s a great start to running and completing the 5km course is a completely manageable goal. The organisers will also track your time for you, so you can strive to beat a personal best!

Good Luck on your run!

By Nariece Sanderson

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