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Beginners Running Tips

If you’ve been inspired to take up running but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve put together our top ten tips for beginner runners, to give you a little head start. With the weather brightening up and more free time, now might be the perfect time to pop your trainers on and dedicate time to yourself and your health.

A woman stops to tie the laces on her trainers whilst out for a run

Decent trainers

Don’t go out in your battered old runners that you’ve had for five years – invest in a new pair of quality trainers.

If you are a CSSC member, you can get a great deal through My Active Discount, where you have a lovely pick of discounts for some of the top brands. Or via CSSC’s everyday savings https://www.cssc.co.uk/everyday-savings

Get something to listen to

A good playlist, podcast or audiobook can work wonders in taking your mind away from focussing on the effort. It really will help the miles fly by. Try CSSC’s Spotify playlists

Stretch

Not just before, during, and after your runs but dedicate time each day to stretch out your body. Running can be tough on your feet, legs and joints especially, so you have to get used to looking after them. One of our Yoga recommendations, yoga with Adriene, has a very simple, 7-minute ‘runners stretching’ video you could use.

 

Plan, plan, plan

Make sure you spend some time planning routes, so you know where you’re going, how far the gradient and footing. There’s nothing worse than running around not knowing where to go next or remembering you have to save energy for the run home. Try map my run for running routes.

Use a GPS tracker

Trackers such as Strava/FITBIT can help you calculate your distance, time and pace. They can be a big motivator to watch, record and chart your progress over time.

A senior man chooses his music from his sports armband before setting out on a run
A runner stretches his leg on a sunny autumn day

Start small

Plan a small loop from your house of about 2km (1.2 miles). Loops mean you’re never too far from home if you’re finding it too much. When you’re ready to go longer, increase your distance by about 10% each week. This will ensure you minimise pushing yourself too hard, too early, and will aide your recovery rate.

Pace yourself

Don’t be afraid of starting with a mixture of running and walking. Try a couch to 5k app as these are good for guiding you through the early days and telling you when you need to run and when to walk.

Have fun

It’s important to go out for a run and leave your tracking device at home sometimes. Forget about the pace, distance, and heart rate and just run for the fresh air, change of scenery and fun. Leave the competition and pressures at home and use running to destress.

Revisit routes

When you’ve been running a while, go back to the routes you started your journey on. This is where trackers really come into their own. They’ll show you how far you’ve come and much you’ve progressed.

Stay safe

At night, run in well lit areas, try running in pairs. Tell someone where you are going.

A woman runs through a park, the sun has recently risen behind the trees