Thursday, 23 July 2020

New to running or want to start - What do you need to know

Hello.  If you are expecting expert advice this is not the running guide for you.  If you would like a few pointers from a slightly overweight 40+ mum of two then read on.

Running seems to be the new thing (along with paddle boarding) as a positive consequence of lockdown.

I have ran/jogged/walked on & off for years and have had many failed attempts at the C25K programme.

In September 2019 I joined a running/jogging club called Abington Park Joggers and loved it.

I am by no means a natural and still get terribly out of breathe & very red faced but my new motto is anything is better than nothing.  I'm a slow runner & at times it has been discouraging & that is why I'm writing this post.

A 8 minute mile or a 12 minute mile is still a mile.  Walk, jog, run, sprint.  It is still running.  It still counts!

Since March my running club has been unable to meet but I made myself go out alone and keep trying.  For me in lockdown it 100% helped my mental health. It was the only time I was alone.  I loved being outside.  It was quiet.  It helped combat the increased baking & eating!

Some of my running club has exceled in lockdown but I have definitely found it tougher.  I can't complete a 5K without walking anymore but do you know what it doesn't matter.

If you took up running in lockdown carry on.  If you want to start do it.

My basic pointers are - 

  • The One You Couch to 5K app is fab.  I like lovely Laura. Week 1 is 60 seconds running with 9 seconds recovery walk x 8. Week 2 90 seconds running x 6. Week 3 90 seconds & then 3 minutes running x 2.  As you can see it builds up gradually & each step as built it rest walks.
  • You do not need fancy trainers that cost £130.  Just some supportive running trainers are fine.  Mine are Nike & were £55.
  • Ditto you do not need fancy running tights (leggings to you & me).  I have a variety but prefer Nike and Primark. The Primark ones are the comfiest (good high waist) and my Nike full length have a secret pocket at the back for my key & great for colder months as have a slight lining.
  • Strava is a fab app for recording routes, times, distances etc.  It's free although you can pay to upgrade if you want super fancy data.
  • Map my run is also good but I swopped to Strava as it links to my Fitbit.
  • You do not need fancy headphones.  I use my daughters Smiggle ones.
  • Do get a head or chest torch for darker evenings.  I got a cheap one from Ebay £8.20.  I prefer a chest torch.
  • Join a running club if you need extra motivation. There are loads but mine is Abington Park Joggers & they meet on Wednesdays.
  • Just go.  I know sometimes you really won't want to but go.  
  • If you stop, sit, walk, turn around & go home it still counts.  You moved.
Unironed t-shirt, smiggle headphones but still running

Just for some guidance as I struggled to find times & everyone else seemed amazing.  Here is some of my data.
  • I have done 3 official park runs and my times were 37.03, 36.38 and 36.28
  • In March my average pace was 12.31 per mile 
  • By best this year was 10.34 per mile
  • My best 5K is 35.39. My aim is to get under 35 minutes but I'm putting zero pressure on myself.
  • My runs currently consist of 2 ish miles running 1 ish mile walking & that's fine.  
I hope this helps, inspires or just gives some information for any new runners.

Let me know how you get on.

Emma xx
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