So you decided to start running? Great. Put on the comfiest leggings you own, lace up those fancy new shoes and… read this... Yep, even before slathering your sunscreen.
You don’t want to be dealing with shin pain, tight muscles and trying to look cool while limping back home after your first running sesh. Save yourself the unnecessary pain -and bruised ego- by following these simple tips!
1. Warm up like it’s your job
Only got half an hour to workout? Sorry to break it to ya’ but you can’t just go off like a gazelle (or a very determined turtle). Warming up is essential to healthy joints and injury prevention. And yes, you should definitely time yourself and warm up for at least 5 minutes before starting. It’s non-negotiable, kinda like brushing your teeth. Don’t be a crybaby. Just do it.
2. Embrace the walking
We’re not trying to put you down. But if you’ve been a pro couch potato for the last 12 months and you’re racking up 1,000 steps on a good day… that 30-minute run ain’t gonna happen on your first try. Or the fourth! This is where the run-walk method comes in. Avoid the aching pain half a minute into your run and start slow.
For the first few weeks of your new running hobby, focus on walking for 5 minutes, then running for one. Alternate this rhythm every session, until the one minute run feels like a breeze. Then up your running time and lower the walking. You get the drill. This gets your body used to the movement and will prevent injuries.
3. Pace yourself
You know that feeling at the start of the run where you just go off like Michael Schumacher… to finish the sesh limping through the final 10 minutes…? Yeah, that’s not the best idea. You’ll get way too tired and improve slowly. Control those legs and keep a consistent rhythm.
This is called pacing yourself. The easiest way to start doing this is setting a baseline: how long you run, how much time it took. Try to repeat that same combo. Then consciously increase or lower your rhythm. Rinse and repeat until you’ve got it.
4. Recover, recover, recover
Forget those crazy New Year’s resolutions where you swore to run every day for a month. Your legs will feel like jelly, DOMS will come back with a vengeance and no, your timing won’t get better. You might in fact get slower and even injured, especially if you’re just starting out. This ain’t a game, so don’t risk your health for your pride.
Resting is to running like salt is to pepper.. or bangers is to mash. You gotta have them together, or it won’t really work. You know what happens when you sleep and take it easy? Besides snoring and running, of course. Resting is the only time your body creates new, stronger muscle fibres. Those legs aren’t gonna heal themselves, so avoid running on consecutive days and switch up the intensity.
5.Keep your eyes open
What’s worse than a crappy run? Twisting an ankle because you can’t see where you’re going (been there, done that). Avoid that sweaty fringe that gets on your eyes every 30 secs, sticks to your sparkling forehead and is a constant reminder of the fact you are not one of those insta runners that look good mid-workout. Tame that hair of yours!
Bobby pins will fall out in 2 secs. Ponytails are great but they don’t solve the sweat-on-your-eyes issue. Our personal fave? A running headband that will wick away sweat, keep those baby heads from sticking to your face and look cool, all at the same time.
Our non-slip bands are perfect for your 5 or 10k's, keeping sweat and hair out of your face. Check out our latest designs HERE
Our final thoughts
Running can be a fun way to get your workout in, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed as a newbie. No worries, listen to your body and follow our easy tips. You’ll be running marathons -or 5ks- in no time!