I am one of these new-found enthusiasts; after scouring the internet for ‘quick tips’ on how to improve, I thought I would compile a list to help people trying to get into or improve their running. These are the very tips that have helped me to go from struggling to run 1 Kilometre, to a 20-minute 5K, so hopefully they can help you too!
There is no point trying to run in a pair of knackered old converse you just found, or some showy trainers that are not built for comfort. Buy yourself some good quality trainers and I guarantee you will immediately notice a difference in running time and ease. Also, wearing shoes not made for running can do some real damage to your knees, and it's really not worth the long-term pain it might cause.
By this I mean go on longer runs than you need to. If you want to run a faster 5K, go on 7K runs. Other ways of doing this include doing short sprint bursts or even going on long walks. This is quite simple, but will definitely help.
Another simple one, although it seems to be forgotten by many when actually running. Do not feel like you have to run at full blast for the whole distance – it is best to get increasingly faster by a few seconds each kilometre in the run. This was you will feel more comfortable throughout the whole run and not have to stop at any point.
It does not matter if you are running once, three times, or every day of the week: it is integral that you run at the same time of day. Our bodies are like clocks, and if you can train it to be most efficient at a specific time of day, you will get the best out of your run.
It is best to give yourself targets to hit, and when you reach those targets, give yourself a new one. The targets can range from running three times in a week, to running a 10K in under an hour.
Make sure to exercise your body in different ways to get the best out of your runs. This might be a few press-ups a day or even the occasional bike ride.
Make sure to have something to drink a while before the run. Drinking immediately before the run is bad and will gift that dreaded stitch, but staying hydrated throughout the day and having a pint of water around 30 minutes before your run will help. This means the water will be in your bloodstream, and you'll be able to run for a greater distance.
You must stretch before and after your runs so that your muscles don’t seize up. This will reduce the muscle pain you might experience after a long run and mean that you are more than ready for the next day’s challenge.
If you can find a friend to go running with you will inevitably feel much more committed to going, as there is a social element introduced. If you can’t do this you might want to set up a competition between friends to see who can run the furthest or fastest, just to give that extra boost of motivation. Running solo is good for time, but running with a friend will make you want to go and it wont feel as much of a chore.
This is, after all, a hobby. Don’t get too stressed about it and just try to enjoy yourself whilst getting healthy.