Hello, and welcome to my own little running guide. For me last year was a bit of a stall in terms of running, I got out of the habit of going each weekend, what with illness and weekend trips away, that when I did have the time and capacity for a run I didn’t go. For me the hardest thing about going for a run is just that; actually going for a run, the physical act of stepping out of the door and making my legs move. I find that once I’m out I actually enjoy myself, in fact I found a draft blog post earlier that I abandoned about 6 months ago and in that I talk about how the first 2 miles are hard, but the longer I run the easier it becomes. And I’d forgotten all about that fact.
So that’s why I am writing this post. To give myself something to look back on, to give myself a running guide, for those times when my brain isn’t in the mood to run. And maybe it will be useful to people that are just starting to run. Who have downloaded a Couch to 10k app in a burst of January New Year resolution making, but need a little running guide to help them through.
Get out and run
Make the decision to go for a run. It’s the first step and the hardest part. But just do it. Get out and go. Remember that when you’re out there it’s not actually as bad as you think it will be. And you will enjoy it, you’re always surprised at the end how good it feels to just run.
Plan a route
Work out where you’re going. Whether it’s a loop around the park or a route through your neighbourhood, have a plan. When you don’t have a route it’s easy to turn back sooner. With a route even if you slow down and walk 95% of the time you will still finish the route.
Don’t think about distance
Don’t think about the distance that you want to run, just start running and see what happens. Follow the route you’ve planned and put one foot in front of the other. Focus on the pavement or track in front of you, of moving your legs and arms in a rhythm. That is it. That’s all you need to do.
Don’t give up
If you get tired or get a stitch, don’t turn back. Walk for 30 seconds and then go again. You’re out and running, so make the most of it.
Create a running playlist, choose songs that are going to motivate you. Those that will keep you running, and not let you stop, so that in the moment that you are thinking about stopping those particular songs will come on and spur you on that little bit further. For me it’s Eye of the Tiger or Run this World. There’s no way I can stop when those tracks are playing.
Be sensible about where and when you run. If it’s pitch black outside then don’t run by yourself near the canal or in the park. Choose well lit, safe evening routes and try to avoid cold mornings, when there’s black ice to contend with.
So there we have them, my top tips for running at this time of year. Obviously these are personal to me, but maybe they’ll help you too. For all you other runners out there, what other points would you add?