As a fitness trainer, I hear the words “I can’t run” on a weekly basis. My response? Shut the f**k up!
If you can put one foot in front of the other, you can run. If you run, you’re a runner. It’s not rocket science. You don’t have to be beating the crowds, you don’t have to be setting world record times, you just need to get out there and do it.
It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you go. It doesn’t matter whether you are Mo Farrah, Paula Radcliffe or Joe Bloggs, 5k is still 5k. The distance and sense of achievement doesn’t change, no matter who you are.
One of my favourite quotes is,
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
Ain’t that the truth?!
For those that didn’t read it, here are my top tips for runners just starting out.
The couch potato:
*Make a realistic schedule that you will stick to.
*Go slow and start with easy runs.
*Keep going and don’t expect changes overnight.
*Lose the car whenever you can and run instead.
The Occasional Gym Bunny:
*Incorporate a solid 30 minute cardio session into your gym visits.
*Buddy up and find a friend to train with.
*Ditch the excuses. Identify whatever is stopping you working out regularly, and squash it!
The Fitness Class Fanatic:
*Join a running club. Nike Women offer plenty across London.
*Switch up your routine and try a high intensity interval training programme to keep your body guessing.
*Learn to love hills. They work wonders for your endurance.
The On-Off Runner
*Make a four-week plan of scheduled runs and your muscle memory will soon kick in.
*Build power by focusing on quality stretching and strength-building exercises such as press-ups, pull-ups and heavy weight lifting.
*Combine short speed runs with longer, slower paced runs.
*Set yourself small goals to start with and tick them off.
*Run with a friend for support and motivation.
*Keep a diary of each run so whenever your motivation is flagging, you can look back and be encouraged by how much you’ve improved.
*Mix it up. Keep your running interesting, by adding variety.