Run Baby Run
A question we’re often asked here at Spikes HQ is ‘How do I start running?‘ So, we figured it was about time we addressed it. The beauty of running is that you don’t really need any special kit, you don’t have to assemble a team or work around gym opening hours – you can just lace up your trainers and go. It really is just as easy as that. It seems people are expecting a more complicated answer, but in very basic terms, the answer to the question ‘How do I start running?’ is ‘Put one foot in front of the other and just go.’
The more questions you ask, the more you’re looking for an excuse to not do it really. You don’t need to worry about having a coach teach you about proper form and all that (you can worry about that down the line if needs be), basically, the only way to get going is to stop thinking about it and just get out and do it.
However, we do understand the first time out there can be an intimidating thing, so here are some pointers to help you along the way:
Get a gait analysis
This is important. Go to a running shop and get a gait analysis done before you buy any trainers. A gait analysis is where you run on a treadmill for roughly 30 second while a machine analyses your running style. From that, a professional in a running shop will be able to advise you on the best kind of shoe for you. If you run in the wrong kind of trainers, it can lead to injury, so it’s best to get this done. The test is free, the trainers are not (just a heads up).
Jiggly bits or no jiggly bits, Lycra must become your friend. If you want to make your running life easier on yourself, embrace stretchy tightness. Also embrace dri-fit and wickable fabrics so you don’t feel like you’re drowning in a sea of your own sweat whenever you hit the road. Classic rookie mistake with new runners is to wear the heavy cotton T Shirt, a big baggy hoodie and big baggy sweatpants because you don’t want anyone to see what you’re doing. Those things do not make you invisible. The only thing they do is make your running experience unpleasant. So, don Lycra and learn quickly how to not give a crap what anyone else thinks. People don’t pay nearly as much attention to us as we like to think they do anyway.
Join a running club
Know you have difficulty running alone? Find a running club in your area so you know you have at least one run a week with other people and start forming a habit of a regular run on a certain day.
Understand there will be pain
We can’t front, running does hurt when you first start. Your body kind of hates you, but it soon gets over it. Prepare yourself for that pain and learn early on that it’s as much a mental game as it is physical. It’s all about how you’re gonna push through that pain to finish the job at hand. Pain is temporary. Victory is forever.
Sign up for a race
Have trouble sticking to something? Sign up for a race (and don’t just opt for the 5K – you’re capable of doing more), that way you have a training plan you have to stick to. It gives you a goal to work towards and helps ensure you don’t just give up after a couple of runs.
Keep a training diary
Keep a log of your runs; the good, the bad and the ugly. Mark down everything from what you ate beforehand to what you wore and what the weather was like. Detail the run, the highs and lows – that way, you may be able to identify patterns that lead to bad runs and just generally understand your running a bit more.
Get an app
There are tons of great running apps out there such as Nike+ or Runkeeper. Get one of those on your phone and it’ll track your distance and speed. This is great for clocking your progress and seeing how far you’ve come.
So there you have it. Wait, you’re still reading this? Surely you should have your trainers on and be heading out the door by now? Go on, GO!