Last weekend thousands of runners took over the city of London for the annual Marathon challenge.
If you felt inspired to give it a go yourself, it’s never too late to get started. Today we’re sharing some tips for everything from running for the first time to beginning your own marathon training programme.
Running is as much about the mental as it is the physical – which is why so many people find that when it comes to running the hardest part is just getting out there and getting started.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to be a runner; some comfortable clothes to exercise in and a pair of trainers is all it takes.
The NHS Couch to 5k running programme and podcast is an excellent place to start if you’re new to running. The 9-week training plan is designed to take absolute beginners – with no running experience whatsoever – and help them gradually build up to being able to run for 30 minutes consecutively.
It’s relatively low commitment and a great way to begin gradually. There are 3 short runs a week that build up over time and teach you about how to master technique and guard against injury.
Finding a running club is another great strategy; exercising with like-minded people can help you stay motivated and excited as you take on this new challenge.
Many cities around the UK also participate in Park Runs. These are short 5k fun runs take place every Saturday morning and are free and open to all ages and abilities. Check the events page for local listings.
Building up endurance
Once you’ve mastered the basics and are running more regularly, you may be interested in taking on a larger challenge to help keep motivated and build up your endurance.
There are hundreds of 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon races that take place around the country; look for one far enough in advance that you have plenty of time to train without injury but not so far that you lose your motivation.
In general to prepare for a 10k you’ll need at least 8 weeks of training. You should be running three times a week – two short runs and one long – and be able to complete 7km comfortably before race day.
Would you like to give running a go? Share your training tips in the comments below!