Running is a great activity to get into, but lets admit it, its hard going. You may give up after a couple of tries due to boredom or no real idea what you’re supposed to be doing, or for how long. Regular running can improve mood, depression, anxiety as well as your overall fitness. It can make you fitter, healthier and happier. Here are some of our top tips to make this part of your fitness journey.
1. Pick a good route.
How do you pick a good run? There are many resources available online which you may not be aware of. The trick to finding a good run is having the right amount of inclines for your needs, not too many red light stops and maybe some scenery along the way (avoiding tourist areas!). So what are these resources?
Google Maps – If you click the bike icon and then put in your destination, it will automatically avoid hills and let you know which areas are safe for cyclists, which is often good for runners. If there is a particular distance you want to travel in a specific area you can draw out a map yourself. You do this by right clicking on the map and selecting “Measure Distance”, point onto the destinations to draw lines around it, then you can drag to edit them. To delete the lot right-click again and go to clear measurements.
Map My Run – This is a great tool that has other routes already mapped out by fellow runners. Just enter the route you want by area and you can select the type of run you want. You can avoid steep inclines and also find routes with public restrooms and other points of interest.
2. Track your distance/speed/time.
I found this was one of the ways I got into continuing to run for the long-term. Understanding my ‘comfortable pace’ and having an idea of what I wanted to aim for, really made me want to get better at running. If you use social media, it can also bring out your competitive side by posting your runs to your social media and comparing with other runners.
Runkeeper – This has been an old favourite of mine and there is a reason why I continue to use it. As well as tracking your stats, you can set goals for example, running a half marathon, and the app will coach you along the way. You can also set intervals or set a personalised routine. One of the best things about the app is the integration, it works with apple watch, Spotify, iTunes and works wirelessly so you can use bluetooth headphones and heart rate monitors. As previously mentioned if you want to connect socially, it will do this automatically for you.
Nike+ Running – As with Runkeeper, you can track all of your progress – pace, distance, routes and personal records. You can set up a personalised plan by entering your goals and current fitness, it will work this out for you. This app is a good one for sharing your runs with other runners, you just hash tag your miles against a specific goal or challenge, personalise it by adding photos or comments and connect with others. They also have their own Spotify play list for you to run along with. (See my previous post here for our favourites).
3. Having something to listen to.
Lets be honest, running isn’t easy. So Having a distraction to take your mind of the fact you are running will help pass the time and get you through your run before you know it! As well as the music we mentioned above which link directly into your running apps. There are other options for things to listen to.
Audible.com – You get a 30 day free trial with these so you can download any book you like from approx 200k titles and try being read to on your run. If you like it you can sign up for £7.99 a month. Podcasts There are a number of sources for podcasts that you can find. The majority of iPhones now come with a podcast app which you can download podcasts for free from all different categories. You can also download from iTunes or direct from websites such as Radio 1. Learn a new Language Websites like Rosetta Stone let you download free demos so you can try it out before you buy. This is a great way to learn a new language if this is something you are interested in.
4. Run with a friend.
Some people find that having a running buddy not only brings our your competitive side, but also makes you less likely to skip the training if you are going to let someone else down, other than yourself. Find your local running club or go social. Posting your runs to social media other runners from all over the world to discuss your progress and technique.
5. Get the right gear.
Making sure you have the right trainers is essential, especially if you plan on running long distances. This can save you from injury which can have a damaging effect on your enjoyment of running. Find your local running shop, have your gait checked, and get some good quality trainers. This is costly but worth it.