You want to start running but aren’t sure where or how to start.
You’re maybe looking to get back into running again or are running regularly but not seeing the progress you want, no matter how hard you train. Most of all, you want to be able to enjoy running again and look forward to your next one.
This is very common and I’ve worked with lots of people over the years who have been in this position.
One of the problems, I think, is a lot of posts on social media about pace and distance so there’s a temptation or belief to do the same. This can usually overcomplicate things and potentially hold you back.
Here are my top 5 tips to help you start running or get back into running again and make the progress you want to see:
- Make The Pace Feel Comfortable
- Focus On Something Ahead Of You
- Plan Your Day
- Visit Somewhere Nice
- Create A Sprint Finish
Make The Pace Feel Comfortable
The biggest mistake most runners make is to go out too fast then slow down as the run goes on. This is ok as nobody tells us how our pace should feel. Until now. The easiest way to get the pace right is to feel like you can hold down a conversation with someone. If you’re struggling to say one or even two words between breaths then the intensity you’re trying to run at is too high. Slow it down until you are able to talk or maybe sing a line of a verse of a song between breaths.
It might feel like you’d be quicker walking and that’s ok. Don’t worry about that. When you focus on running consistently and making each run feel comfortable, you won’t be at your current pace for long!
Focus On Something Ahead Of You
Look up! Most runners tend to look down towards the ground but this can make the run feel harder and will certainly make it harder to breathe. Lift your chest up and focus on something ahead of you, whether it’s a lamppost, a tree or a building. Feel like the landmark is pulling you towards it and when you reach it, adjust your view to something else and repeat. It’ll make your run feel easier!
Plan Your Day
There’s a saying “the run begins the minute you forget you’re running”. Your run doesn’t have to be a race or constantly trying to beat your previous time. There’s a growing value for running to help de-stress and improve your mental health as well as your physical health. If you go out in the morning, I recommend planning the first thing you’re going to do that day, or the next thing, and plan WHAT you’re going to do and HOW you’re going to do it. That way, you can finish your run feeling like you have a plan and a purpose.
If you go out later in the day, you can reflect on the day gone by, celebrate your wins, maybe think about what you didn’t do so well with and what you can do tomorrow to make it better. This is a great way to relieve stress, especially if it’s been a hard day. I guarantee you will feel better by the time you finish.
Either way, it’s a welcome distraction and when you think about something else, you often have a better run.
Visit Somewhere Nice
I always recommend running by a river, through a park, in a woodland path or up a hill. It’s great to be able to get away from the noise of the traffic, surround yourself in nature and it’s easier to relax into your run. When you relax, you instantly run better and the run becomes much more enjoyable.
While you’re out, take a photo of something you see that you can show others afterwards. It’s a great way to remember your run by and when you look back at the photo, you’ll instantly remember the run and it’ll almost feel like you’re back there again.
Create A Sprint Finish
We all want to have a sprint finish! It makes us look like a proper athlete at the Olympics! Before you go out, create the sprint finish you’d love to have at the end of your run and when you’re out and see the finish ahead of you, go make it happen! It’s ok that it might just feel like a glorified shuffle or that you’re not going to trouble Usain Bolt anytime soon but it’s great fun to do and you’ll get a great rush from doing it!
It feels like you’ve accomplished something!
You don’t need to do that every time but knowing you can do it as you get towards the end of a run is a very powerful sign and a great confidence booster.
Give these a go and message me on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn and let me know how you get on.
If you’re feeling good and want help to take your running to the next level and see what else you can achieve, check out my Running Coaching program or get in touch and let’s have a chat. I’m here to guide you and support you every step of the way.