Friday, 25 July 2014

Stuff I've Learned | Running

Hitting the pavements can be a daunting thing when you haven't had much experience. When I first started out, pro runners used to speed past me like lightning and I thought I'd never be able to run like the them.

I've been properly running for over three years now and am constantly learning new things, whether it's how to improve my technique or getting that playlist bang on so the BPM helps me up my game in the pace stakes.

I don't consider myself a running pro or expert by any stretch of the imagination but I've pulled together a few hints and tips I've picked up along the way to guide you through your time on legs. And in turn, if you have any for me, just comment below.

Get some snazzy gear
Why look boring when you run? There is some seriously colouful kit out there and it makes you feel (and look) the part when running. I'm guilty of investing in boring black vests and shorts when I started out (goth at heart) but I've recently added some brighter things to shake things up. TK Maxx and H&M, particularly, have good quality, interesting and affordable running gear.

Buddy up
Running with a pal is one of the best ways to help you on your way. When I'm on long training runs, I buddy up with my Mum - we have a chat on the way round and it makes those long, hard slogs that bit easier to cope with, knowing you're both in it together. If you want to run in a group, there are loads of brilliant running clubs all over the North East, which you can join whatever your level.

Stop worrying about everybody else
Even now, after running for a few years, I get a bit of running angst - Why can't I run as quickly as that girl in front of me? Go at your own pace and set goals to work towards. Want to get faster? Try some interval training. Working on distance? Sign up for a 5K or 10K. Remember, even the expert was once a beginner so take your time, and do what suits you.

Make an epic playlist
One thing I can't cope without when running is a damn good playlist. I use Spotify and make my lists available offline, so I'm not relying on the (usually) patchy 3G signal down at the seafront. I always have a range of genres in the mix but mostly it's really upbeat tracks to help me with my pace (and obvs some guilty pleasures in there for lols).

Enjoy it
If you don't enjoy it, don't do it. Yes, running takes some getting into when you first start out and if you stick at it, it can feel unreal. At the end of the day though, we're all different. There are loads of other cardio-based exercises you can try instead if you're just not feeling it, whether it's cycling, something like netball, HIITs or Tabata. Personally, I think mixing up your exercise routine does a world of good, and introducing different form of exercise that complement other is a damn fine thing.

What are your running tips?

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