Top 7 Tips for New Runners
The first time I ran, I forced myself to run a total of 5 km (a mix of running and walking). I felt it was an impressive distance to run as a beginner, and I wanted to be able to show off. It actually resulted in me experiencing blisters and calf pain for about a week, preventing me from doing anymore running.
For my next few runs, I decreased the distance and focused on attempting to run a little further each time, pushing myself to continue running without any walking breaks. I did gradually manage to run further, but it was hard, exhausting, and my progress was slow.
I was becoming frustrated when a friend mentioned that she was following the couch to 5k programme. I had looked into this before I started running and felt it wasn't for me, largely because I believed the programme was for unfit people who did little exercise. I have regularly exercised for years (Zumba and Kettlebells) and felt my fitness should be high enough to start running without following a programme.
However, after witnessing my friend see great progress following the programme I decided to take a closer look. I quickly realised that rather than ignoring the programme completely, as someone who is a bit fitter, I could jump in further along the programme.
I read through the programme and decided to adapt it. At this point, I was just about managing to run for 10 minutes, so I switched to 6 minutes of running followed by 4 minutes of walking x3, giving a total activity time of 30 minutes (18 minutes of running). This felt much easier, and I managed to cover more distance without actually focus info or worrying about the distance.
Each week, I was able to add a minute to my running time and take a minute off my walking time. I then increase to doing 4 sets and eventually removed the walking breaks completely.
I was so glad I had discovered this approach to beginner running training, and I wished I had started by focusing on gradually increasing my running time rather than increasing my distance.
Video: Top 3 tips for New Runners
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