Beginners - Walk To Run

This year's Walk-To-Run, WTR#7 has now finished and many of the 'graduates' completed Barnsley parkrun on Saturday 3rd June 2017.  I hope all the participants enjoyed it and will keep on doing regular exercise, whether it's running with a local club or just getting out with the kids more.  You did great!

No doubt we will be running WTR#8 in Spring 2018.  Watch out for details here.


Hints and Tips

Shoes:
First of all, don't spend lots of money on expensive gear.  The most important thing is to wear some comfortable running shoes.  There are many different types on the market, some with very high price tags and you may hear seasoned runners talking about support and pronating but at entry level just concentrate on a pair that fits and has some cushioning.

If your shoes are new, wear them around the house for a few days before trying to run several miles in them!

Once you get a few miles under your belt and develop a style of running (gait) you can speak to an expert in any one of a number of shops which specialise in running.  Some shops also have gait analysis equipment which you can try in order to determine the type of shoe you need.

Run with a friend:
Unless you're really a very solitary type of person, you'll find it much easier to run with a kindred spirit.

Ideally your running partner(s) will be at a similar stage to you, running a similar pace and will rely on your support as much as you rely on theirs.  This helps immensely when it's time for a run and you try to think of any excuse not to go!  They will be able to encourage you and you won't want to let them down (and vice versa).

Chatting while you run also has advantages.  It means that you are regulating your speed so that you aren't running so hard that you are out of breath; and you don't notice the miles pass by!

If you don't know anyone who wants to take up the challenge, go along to a beginners group, (see above;) you'll soon meet someone in exactly the same position as you.

Food and Drink:
Eat and drink a little and often throughout the day.  Try to have a light meal about 2 hours before you run so that you're not hungry but the food isn't lying heavy in your stomach.  If you wish, take water or a sports drink with you when you run, especially in summer.

Don't worry about carbo-loading and such like just yet.  That's for next year when you enter the London Marathon!

Keep a Diary:
Log as much or as little information as you like; your time, distance run, the weather, where you went, who you ran with, what you wore etc.  This is not essential but some people find this a help for various reasons; it helps you track your progress; it can motivate you when you're not quite feeling up to it; it can inspire you when you're injured or unwell and not able to run; or it can simply be a happy reminder in years to come.

Keeping a diary will also inspire you to live more healthily in many ways such as eating better and being more conscious of exercise:  You'll soon find that you're using the stairs (2 at a time!) instead of the lift and walking to the shop instead of jumping in the car.  Your diary might also record your weight if that's a reason for taking up running.

Set a Goal:
One of the best ways to inspire you to improve is to set a goal and an obvious one is a race.  However; choose carefully...

When? - Pick a race that's between 3 and 6 months away.  This will give you time to follow a training schedule but is not too far in the future to lose interest.  There are schedules widely available to cater for all tastes.


How far? - It's important to pick a race distance that's achievable.  If you can only run 5K at the moment, choose a 5K race with the aim of improving your current time, or maybe a 10K that's far enough away to get up to that distance.

Which race? - Choose a race where you will be among other people of the same ability as you.  Good examples are the weekly parkrun (free every Saturday morning in Locke Park,) or many of the mass participation charity races such as Race for Life or the Jane Tomlinson races.  Past results of these races are available on-line to help you decide.  Be aware that the cost of entering races varies widely!

Motivation - It would be good to enter with a friend who you can run with for mutual motivation.  You will then be able to compare notes (and maybe blisters?) afterwards.  You may also be inspired to raise sponsorship for a charity or other good cause.  The fact that someone is depending on you completing the race will help to keep you motivated.


To be continued...

(Please submit your own hints and tips by email to kingstonerunners@hotmail.co.uk - this section can grow.)
Kingstone Runners

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